DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION REGARDING
THE FATAL OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING OF ANTHONY HARDEN
WHICH OCCURRED IN FALL RIVER ON NOVEMBER 22, 2021
This is the District Attorney’s final report on the fatal shooting of Anthony Harden on November 22, 2021. On December 22, 2021, the District Attorney released a report describing that there was no evidence from which to conclude that a crime had occurred in relationship to the officer’s shooting of Mr. Harden. At that time, we described the facts from all the witnesses who saw or heard the incident. The report made it clear that in relying on the information and the additional evidence already developed, the final determination was unlikely to change. However, as we stated in December, the investigation had not concluded and additional information was still outstanding. Following the release of the December report, the District Attorney received two public records requests related to the investigative file. Because the investigation was still ongoing, and because these types of investigations necessarily require the protection of information during the critical stage of investigation, and consistent with our practice in these matters, the requests were denied pending conclusion of the investigation. The December report stated that a final report would be issued when the investigation concluded. Consequently, we now issue this final report and take the additional step of releasing the publicly releasable records with appropriate redactions.
On Monday, November 22, 2021, at approximately 5:13 PM, a 22-year-old woman called the Fall River Police to report a domestic violence incident that occurred two days prior (Police Call, FRPD Report). Two Fall River Police Officers were dispatched to the woman’s residence and took her complaint. There, the woman informed police that she was in a dating relationship with Anthony Harden. She stated that two days prior, Mr. Harden had choked her and struck her in face with a stick. The police officers documented injuries to the woman’s face (Injury Photo 1, Injury Photo 2) and then proceeded to 120 Melville Street in Fall River to arrest Mr. Harden.
Once at 120 Melville Street, the same Fall River Police Officers entered the building with assistance of the landlord. Approximately two minutes after entering the building, one of the responding officers sent a message over the radio that shots were fired and to send a medic. As a result, within minutes numerous Fall River Police Officers and emergency medical personnel responded to 120 Melville Street. Mr. Harden was found with apparent gunshot wounds and was treated by medical personnel. Mr. Harden was initially transported by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital but was rerouted to St. Anne’s Hospital due to his critical condition. All life-saving measures were unsuccessful and Mr. Harden was pronounced deceased by Dr. Forzano at 6:51 PM.