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No civil rights violations in police shooting death of University of North Texas student, FBI report says

An FBI review found that no civil rights violations of federal law occurred when Denton police officers shot and killed Darius Tarver in 2020, Denton police said.

DENTON, Texas — Editor's note: The above video is from March 2021 after a Denton County jury declined to indict an officer involved in the shooting of Darius Tarver.

An FBI review found that no civil rights violations of federal law occurred when Denton police officers shot and killed 23-year-old University of North Texas student Darius Tarver in 2020, Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon said in a statement Thursday.

"In keeping with the highest level of openness and transparency, I asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to review the officer-involved shooting of Darius Tarver," Dixon wrote in the statement. "The FBI’s Dallas Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, and the U.S. Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division have all independently conducted a review of the facts in this case and have determined that a violation of federal law (Civil Rights violations) did not occur."

Tarver, 23, was shot and killed by police officers on Jan. 21, 2020 outside his apartment at a student apartment complex in Denton. Police told WFAA that the night of the incident, officers responded to calls of someone acting erratically at the Forum at Denton Station apartment complex on Inman Street.

RELATED: Denton officer who fatally shot Darius Tarver won't face disciplinary action, department says

The night of the shooting, multiple people called 911 saying a man was banging on numerous doors and yelling for people to open them up. 

Authorities said Darius had a frying pan and a meat cleaver in his hands the night of the shooting, didn’t obey commands and charged at officers after being tased.

An officer was stabbed during the confrontation but was treated and released from the hospital, police said.

RELATED: Denton County jury declines to indict officer involved in shooting of UNT student

In April, The Denton Police Department announced that an officer who fatally shot Tarver will not face disciplinary action after an Internal Affairs investigation determined that department training, procedures and policies in place at the time were followed based upon the totality of the circumstances on the scene, the department said. 

RELATED: 'I will never hear his voice again': Parents of UNT student killed by police react to the body camera footage

In March, a Denton County grand jury issued a no-bill to the officer involved in Tarver's death. The family's lawyer, Lee Merritt, told WFAA they were shocked and disappointed at the jury's decision.

Just one week before his death, Darius had survived a bad car accident where family told WFAA the roads were icy that day. The crash put him in the ICU and he was released from the hospital the next day.

Merritt said the police department should have handled the situation differently because Darius was in a mental health crisis.

"Four officers versus one young student in a mental health crisis could not get to safety, get him to mental health care," Merritt said. "Instead they shot him to death."