Shooters' Statements Contaminated
Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Kevin Anderson was quoted as saying, shortly after the shooting, that the scene at the West Village Meeting House was being treated as a crime scene. Presumably the possible crime being investigated was the unjustified use of deadly force by officers Parker and Holbrook against Woodward. Yet the officers were not treated as though they might have committed a crime. They were not detained. Neither were their persons or residences searched, (while the body and residence of the victim was). And the officers were allowed, if not encouraged, to reconcile stories before their statements were collected by investigators.
All three officers were allowed to fill out their reports in the same room, unsupervised. The officers were not interviewed until the day after the shooting. (In contrast, all but one of the church eyewitnesses were interviewed the day of the shooting.) During their interviews they admitted they had discussed the incident amongst themselves.
Ten days after the shooting, and 110 days before Sorrell announced his conclusion that the shooters had committed no crime, both officers were allowed to return to full active duty.