Fanta Bility (2021)

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On August 27, 2021, Sharon Hill Pennsylvania Police Department officers Brian Devaney, Devon Smith, and Sean Dolan were working security at a high school football game. The officers heard gunfire that they thought was directed at them, and shot at a moving car. Three attendees were injured and 8-year-old Bility was killed.[1]

Devaney was not wearing a body-worn camera, and Smith and Dolan did not activate their cameras.[2]

The two original shooters were arrested and charged with first-degree murder.[3]

The car was later determined to have not been related to the shooting.[3]

On November 18, 2021, a grand jury was empaneled to review the officers' use of force.[4]

The charges against the original shooters were dropped.[2]

On January 18, 2022, the DA announced that Bility had been killed by the officers' gunfire, and charged them each with 10 counts of reckless endangerment and singular counts of manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.[5] Charges against the original shooters were dropped.[3]

On January 21, 2022, the Borough Council voted to terminate the officers.[5]

On November 10, 2022, the officers pleaded guilty to 10 counts of reckless endangerment. The charges for voluntary and involuntary manslaughter were dropped.[1]

On May 5, 2023, the officers were sentenced to 11 months of house arrest and five years of probation.[2]

In September 2023, the city agreed to pay $11 million to settle lawsuits from Fanta's family, two passengers in the car who were injured, and a bystander who was shot in the foot. The city will form a citizens' advisory committee that would be involved in the hiring of police officers. Officers will undergo training in using deadly force, and a park will be named for Fanta.[6]

Officers Involved

Official Reports

Additional Sources