BY MELANIE BUCK –
Mena Police Department Chief Brandon Martin has issued a statement releasing the name of the officer involved in last week’s shooting as 20-year police veteran, Sgt. Kenneth Mann. The incident in reference occurred in Mena on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, when Shawn Henry Allen Dickens, age 30, was fatally shot. According to the release, the police department had received prior information from a citizen that Dickens was in the Mena area and was in possession of Methamphetamine, along with a loaded revolver.
Just before noon, Sgt. Mann of the Mena Police Department observed Shawn Dickens in the parking lot of a local convenience store located at the intersection of Reine and Reeves Street in Mena. Sgt. Mann pulled into the parking lot and made contact with Dickens. As Sgt. Mann began to perform a pat down of Dickens for weapons, the statement said “Dickens made body movements as to keep Sgt. Mann from performing a complete pat down.” As Sgt. Mann tried to apply handcuffs, Dickens allegedly began to resist the officer. “Sgt. Mann and the suspect engaged into a physical altercation to which Sgt. Mann was thrown to the ground. Mr. Dickens fled on foot with Sgt. Mann giving chase,” continued the statement.
According to the statement, a revolver fell from the waistband of Dickens during the chase, causing it to land on the ground, at which point Dickens “turned around to the officer and was going for the pistol. Sgt. Mann was giving commands that were ignored. Mr. Dickens picked up the pistol and aimed it at Sgt. Mann at which time the officer fired his weapon.” Upon other officers arriving on the scene, first aid was administered to Dickens until medical personnel arrived. Dickens was transported to Mena Regional Health System where he was pronounced deceased.
The Polk County Coroner, while retrieving Mr. Dickens’ personal belongings from the hospital, located a large amount of suspected Methamphetamine on his person. The suspected Methamphetamine was taken into evidence and turned over to the State Police.
“There are two investigations taking place, one with the State Police who is investigating the shooting and an internal investigation with the department as to whether department policy was followed. Sgt. Mann is currently on paid administrative leave per the department’s policy.”