A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy will not face criminal charges for a fatal officer-involved shooting on New Year’s Eve.
The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office says deputy Justin Rigney’s use of force was lawful when he shot and killed Ricky Whidden in Loxahatchee. But Ricky Whidden's family argues, that deputies didn't do enough to de-escalate the situation.
Ricky Whidden's mom called 911 after her son told her he wanted to commit suicide. She told deputies he did not threaten her, but that he was armed with a knife. Deputies say Whidden lunged at them with that knife, after they shot him twice with rubber bullets, and that's why he was ultimately shot and killed.
In a letter explaining their decision, the state attorney’s office says Whidden had prior mental health issues and was hospitalized two years earlier due to erratic thoughts.They also mention Whidden refused attempts by his family to follow a medication regimen.