November 17, 2016 10:52:54 AM
A recently-filed document in Lowndes County Circuit Court indicates former Columbus Police Department Officer Garrett Mittan did not plant a weapon on Ricky Ball's body after Ball was shot dead by another officer in Oct. 2015.
Mittan voluntarily took a polygraph test on Oct. 21, 2015 at the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, according to a document obtained by The Dispatch on Tuesday. The document was filed in late October as part of former CPD officer Canyon Boykin's manslaughter charge file.
Mittan, who resigned from CPD after the shooting and began working for the Starkville Police Department in October, was one of the first officers on the scene after Boykin fatally shot 26-year-old Ball.
A federal lawsuit, filed in September by Memphis attorney Paul N. Royal as administrator of the Ball estate, accuses Mittan of planting a Taurus 9mm on Ball after the shooting.
According to the polygraph examiner's report, Mittan was asked if he placed the gun at the scene and if he saw how the gun arrived at the scene. Mittan answered "no" to both questions, according to the document.
Polygraph examiner Ricky Dean administered the test.
"It is the opinion of this examiner (that) Garrett Mittan was being truthful during testing," the document says.
The gun, which was found with narcotics near Ball's body, belonged to Mittan. It was reportedly stolen from his home on Aug. 5, 2015. CPD did not report finding the weapon on Ball until 12 days after the shooting.
The lawsuit says Mittan "must have planted or allowed this weapon to be placed near [Ball's] body" to justify the shooting.
No criminal charges have been filed against Mittan, though he is a defendant in at least two federal civil lawsuits filed over the incident.
Boykin has been indicted for manslaughter in a criminal case.
Boykin shot and killed Ball after Ball fled on foot from a traffic stop. He was a passenger in the vehicle being stopped.
Ball was shot twice, once in the upper body and once in the lower body, Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said.
Boykin was with CPD officer Johnny Branch and then-officer Yolanda Young. Young resigned from CPD following the shooting.
The officers were in a patrol car with an unauthorized civilian passenger the night of the shooting.
The Columbus City Council fired Boykin weeks after the incident for unauthorized passenger violations, for not having his body camera turned on, and for derogatory social media posts he made toward women, African Americans and disabled people following the shooting.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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