Carol Stream

Carol Stream police officers won't be charged in shooting death of Isaac Goodlow

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The DuPage County State’s Attorney will not file criminal charges against Carol Stream police officers in the shooting death of 30-year-old Isaac Goodlow earlier this year.

According to a press release from State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, the office will not pursue charges against Officer Daniel Pfingston or two other officers that entered the residence in the February shooting.

Pfingston was one of two officers placed on paid leave after the shooting, which took place on Feb. 3.

According to authorities, officers were called to a residence after a report of a “domestic violence incident.” Officers were given permission to enter the residence by a woman who alleged that Goodlow had attacked her during the incident, and a single shot was fired during the confrontation that followed, striking Goodlow in the chest.

He was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Footage of the incident was released in March, but Goodlow’s family alleged that the video was “blurred and edited,” and called for unedited footage to be released because of what they termed a “false narrative” around the shooting.

"It was disheartening and a breach of trust to the family, seeing the bodycam footage that was released to the public," Avasia Pigram, a cousin of Goodlow's, said. "It was untruthful and pushing a false narrative that Isaac Goodlow provoked officers to take his life."

Relatives also said police tased Goodlow and fatally shot him while he was in bed.

(Warning: the following video could be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised) Carol Stream police released bodycamera footage Friday show the fatal shooting of a 30-year-old man during what was described as a “tense and uncertain” domestic violence call, though family members have said Isaac Goodlow III was ambushed in the moments before his death.

Berlin pushed back on those allegations, saying that at the request of the family, the footage was turned over to Motorola Solutions. An audit was conducted, and the investigation determined that the video had “not been altered or modified,” according to Berlin’s office.

The investigation also concluded that crime scene photos did not show blood on the bed, and that video shows Goodlow was not in bed when he was shot, according to Berlin.

Finally, an autopsy revealed that Goodlow had not been tased during the confrontation.

According to the narrative provided by Berlin’s office, an officer’s body camera showed what appeared to be Goodlow’s leg coming out of the bedroom door, and showed his right arm “bent and his right hand at about shoulder height.”

Pfingston testified that he believed Goodlow was pointing something at him or reaching for his gun, and he fired a single shot, striking Goodlow in the chest.

Another officer deployed a taser as Goodlow came out of the bedroom, but it lodged in a wall and in another officer’s shoulder, according to Berlin’s report. Finally, a third officer was pushed over, which led to an accidental discharge of a weapon, according to police.

Berlin called the investigation “thorough and extensive,” and that the decision was reached not to file charges against any of the officers.

Berlin took care to note that he did not find Pfingston justified in use of deadly force, but that the state “cannot meet its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt” that Pfingston was not legally justified in the shooting.

“Criminal charges can only be filed, however, if the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said in a statement.  

He also said the other officers would not be charged as their actions did not contribute to Goodlow’s death.

The family filed a federal civil lawsuit against the Village of Carol Stream and the two officers involved in the shooting, alleging that officers entered the home in an unlawful fashion and that the shooting was unjust. That case remains pending.

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