An Arkansas police officer who allegedly told a colleague that he would shoot any protesters who came to his door was charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a fellow officer who knocked on his door in June.
When the police brutality protests in Minneapolis began earlier this year, the accused officer, Calvin "Nick" Salyers, told a colleague that he would "shoot through the door" at any protesters who came to his residence, according to court documents.
On Wednesday, Salyers, 33, was charged with manslaughter for allegedly shooting and killing his fellow officer, 36-year-old Scott Hutton, through the door of Salyers' residence on June 3.
Salyers, an officer with the Alexander Police Department since 2017, surrendered to special agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division on Wednesday.
On June 3, Hutton had driven to Salyers' home shortly after 7 p.m. to pick up a patrol car from Salyers, which was parked inside a metal structure nearby, Ryan Jacks, an investigator with the Arkansas State Police, wrote in an arrest affidavit.
When Hutton arrived at Salyers' home, he texted him, "are you awake," Jacks wrote. When he didn't get a response, Hutton walked to the front door and knocked. Inside, Salyers was watching a movie with his girlfriend, Ashlee Cummings. He was off duty at the time.
According to Jacks, Salyers told Cummings he would check who was at the door, and grabbed his Glock .40-caliber handgun. He looked through the peephole and saw a "figure standing on his porch with a dark shirt and a gun on his hip," Jacks wrote in the affidavit.
Salyers claimed that he attempted to transfer his gun from his right to his left hand to open the door, according to the affidavit. However, he said that when he did so the gun fired, and Hutton fell.
Salyers described the shooting as an "accidental discharge," according to the affidavit.
It was then, Salyers allegedly told authorities, that he realized the figure in his doorway was Hutton. He called 911, and deputies from the Saline County Sheriff’s Office responded, according to a statement from the Arkansas State Police.
When deputies arrived, they said they observed Hutton being given life-saving measures by an Alexander Police Department officer. Hutton was transported to a local hospital, where he died.
In the arrest affidavit, Jacks wrote that agents with the Arkansas State Police investigated the scene and found that the single bullet had traveled through both the wooden front door and a glass storm door before striking Hutton.
They also found evidence that the gun had been pressed against the door when it was fired, and that Hutton was "standing at an angle and not squarely facing the door." Hutton was wearing a black polo shirt, khakis, a "typical" police officer belt, and a badge when he died, the affidavit said.
When the police brutality protests in Minneapolis began after George Floyd's death, Salyers allegedly told a fellow Alexander police officer, Sgt. Matt Wharton, that if any protesters came to his home he would "shoot through the door," according to the affidavit.
Wharton told authorities he had admonished Salyers for this remark, telling him that to do so would be "reckless and negligent," and that they could not shoot anyone without first identifying them and confirming they were a threat.
The day after the shooting, the Alexander Police Department announced Hutton's death on Facebook, writing he had been killed "in the line of duty." The department arranged a GoFundMe for Hutton's wife, Brittany, and wrote that Hutton had just reached his "dream" of becoming a cop after serving in the Army National Guard.
Salyers surrendered to authorities on Wednesday on a charge of manslaughter, a class C felony. A judge set his bond at $15,000.