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Published: Saturday, 2/9/2008

Sheriff to probe killing by Lima police officer

LIMA, Ohio - The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office has been retained by Lima police to determine whether a veteran police sergeant who fatally shot a Lima woman during a drug raid violated any departmental policies, Chief Greg Garlock announced yesterday.

The internal investigation is to be launched after the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation concludes its criminal investigation of the Jan. 4 shooting of Tarika Wilson, 26, the chief said.

The gunfire injured her 14-month-old son, Sincere, whom she was holding at the time.

Jennifer Brindisi, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's Office, said the bureau's investigation should be concluded "within weeks."

Its findings are to be turned over to Special Prosecutor Jeff Strausbaugh, who will decide whether to seek criminal charges from an Allen County grand jury against Sgt. Joseph Chavalia, who fired the fatal shots. The FBI is investigating possible civil rights violations.

The shooting raised questions in Lima about the way the police deal with the public, particularly the African-American community.

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