NAACP calls for investigation into choking death of Stonewall ma - - Jackson, MS

NAACP calls for investigation into choking death of Stonewall man

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into the choking death of a Stonewall man. 

The full statement is below:

The Mississippi State Conference NAACP and the Clark County NAACP are extremely disappointed that a Clark County Grand Jury did not indict Officer Kevin Herrington in the choking death of Jonathan Sanders.   Clark County District Attorney Bilbo Mitchell convened a grand jury last week after receiving results from a review of the case by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI).  The Grand Jury concluded its review on Thursday and the decision was released this morning.

Derrick Johnson, MS State Conference President says that the fight for justice in this case is not over.  “We will continue to stand by Jonathan Sanders’s family and the Stonewall community as they continue to seek justice in this case,” says Johnson.  The MS State Conference NAACP will meet with the family and attorneys for the family to review case evidence in order to determine the next steps.

Clark County NAACP President Rev. Lawrence Kirksey believes that an outside investigation by the Department of Justice will be the only way to resolve this tragedy.  “There are too many unanswered questions in Jonathan Sanders’s case and Bilbo Mitchell has not answered any of these questions for the family,” said Rev. Kirksey.  One of those questions revolves around the reason that Mr. Sanders was stopped.  “The D.A. has not told the family or the community the reason that he was stopped in the first place,” Kirksey continued.  Officer Herrington was not on duty when the incident happened.

“In this era of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, it’s a shame that local authorities continue to demonstrate their belief that black lives don’t really matter.  We have to hold these officials accountable to administering equal justice that respects the life of every individual, regardless of race,” Johnson continued.

On Monday, a Clarke County grand jury declined to indict the Officer Kevin Herrington, who is accused of choking 39-year-old Jonathan Sanders to death back in July. 

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

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

The grand jury believed that Officer Herrington acted lawfully in his encounter with Sanders, despite allegations that he choked him to death. In the report it states that he 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.

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