Grand Jury doesn't indict officer in Stonewall case - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Grand Jury doesn't indict officer in Stonewall case

The report states Sanders cause of death was mechanical asphyxiation associated with acute cocaine toxicity. Source: WLBT The report states Sanders cause of death was mechanical asphyxiation associated with acute cocaine toxicity. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In the death investigation of Jonathan Sanders, a Clarke County grand jury declined to indict the officer involved in the case.

The jury decided there was no evidence Sanders' death was caused by Stonewall Officer Kevin Herrington.  

The report states Sanders cause of death was mechanical asphyxiation associated with acute cocaine toxicity.  

The grand jury believed that Officer Kevin Herrington acted lawfully in his encounter with Sanders on July 8th of 2015, despite allegations that he choked him to death. In the report it states that Officer Herrington had reasonable suspicion to believe that Sanders was involved in drug activity.

It also stated that the force that was used by Officer Herrington was not excessive.

"I think that the decision that was handed down today was a miscarriage of Justice," said Chokwe Antar Lumumba, one of Sanders family's attorney. 

Lumumba and his partner CJ Lawrence say unfortunately they've seen no indictment decisions far too often, but hoped differently in the case of Jonathan Sanders.  

However, they were not surprised by the decision.

Attorney Lumumba said, "We have a district attorney who has been sitting in that seat for over 25 years has had 14/15 police involved killings and has secured no indictments on any of the officers.  We are going to take this case to the world. We will be releasing information. We will be telling the story, this will not go quietly in the night."

Stonewall's Police chief stands behind the grand jury's decision.

Micheal Street, the Stonewall Police Chief said, "They got to talk to the witnesses so they heard first hand from everyone. Even Ms. Sanders I think that shows there is no cover up. There is nothing to hide. The truth comes out and that's what we expected."

Lumumba and Lawrence stresses that not every witness received the opportunity to testify. 

"There were individuals, including the individual that saw Jonathan Sanders immediately prior to his death that to our understanding was not allowed to testify," Lawrence explained.

"We're calling out the fact that Ms. Sanders has been requesting an autopsy for seven plus months and have not been shared an autopsy.  Why is this information not being provided to the family?" Lumumba explained.

In the grand jury's report it states Sanders choked to death after swallowing cocaine.

The family's attorney CJ Lawrence stated, "There were individuals, including the individual that saw Jonathan Sanders immediately prior to his death that to our understanding was not allowed to testify"

Sanders family says although this is a set back, they will not give up.

"To know this is only the beginning and just say Lord have mercy on us all. We not only fighting for the family but for the justice system,"  Kirby Pugh, a family friend said.

Sanders family attorneys say they have already been in contact with the Department of Justice and there is potential civil litigation action taking place. 

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