A grand jury has decided to not file criminal charges against three Jersey City, NJ, police officers who shot two men this summer after mistaking Roman candle bursts for gunshots.
The Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, which conducted the investigation into the July 1 non-fatal shooting on Randolph Avenue, announced the grand jury's decision to "no bill" the officers after presenting the evidence of the case, reports NJ.com.
"Specifically, the Grand Jurors found there was sufficient evidence to conclude that the use of deadly force was reasonable under the facts and circumstances reasonable known to the officers at the time and therefore criminal charges were not appropriate," the HCPO said in a lengthy statement describing the incident and subsequent investigation.
The shooting near the Arlington Gardens public housing complex left 19-year-old Shaquan Rush and 21-year-old Davonte Moore with lower body gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening.
The HCPO investigation found that Lt. Crisant Bereguette, Officer Raymond Vazquez, and Officer Michael Jacobo opened fire on Rush and Moore after spotting them extend their arms "in a firing position." But the two men weren't armed—they were shooting Roman candles at a group of people standing in front of the public housing complex, the HCPO said.
Carmine Disbrow, president of the JCPOBA, welcomed the decision, saying that it is in line with what they suspected from the time the incident happened. Their officers, he said, "acted in accordance with their training, and in an effort to protect not only their only lives but the lives of others."