A police officer was cleared by a grand jury Tuesday in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man during a fight at a traffic stop, but a lawyer for the man's family says he will seek a federal civil rights investigation, reports the Associated Press.
Jurors rejected Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich's recommendation that they indict the officer on charges of voluntary manslaughter and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, Weirich said. Weirich refused to elaborate on what led her to make her recommendation.
Police have said previously that Darrius Stewart was a passenger in a car stopped by the officer July 17 for a headlight violation. Stewart was placed in the back of a squad car without handcuffs as the officer checked on active warrants for him, authorities said.
Officer Connor Schilling returned to the squad car to arrest and handcuff Stewart after a warrant was verified, and Stewart kicked the door and attacked the officer, beating Schilling with the handcuffs, police said.
Schilling shot Stewart with his duty weapon during the struggle, police said. Stewart died of two gunshot wounds at a hospital, a medical examiner found. Schilling had been relieved of duty — a routine procedure — pending the outcome of the investigation.