Cop who shot biker asked to re­sign

Un­ac­ti­vated cam­era vi­o­la­tion of pol­icy

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - FROM COM­BINED DIS­PATCHES

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says a Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice of­fi­cer who fa­tally shot an un­armed black mo­tor­cy­clist last year has been asked to re­sign.

The Of­fice of the U.S. At­tor­ney for the District of Columbia said Wed­nes­day that it won’t file charges against the of­fi­cer in the 2016 death of Ter­rence Ster­ling of Fort Wash­ing­ton be­cause there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to prove the of­fi­cer used un­rea­son­able force or wasn’t act­ing in self-de­fense.

City of­fi­cials have ac­knowl­edged that Of­fi­cer Brian Trainer vi­o­lated pol­icy by not ac­ti­vat­ing his body cam­era un­til af­ter the shoot­ing, which hap­pened af­ter a high-speed chase.

Miss Bowser said late Wed­nes­day that it is “un­ac­cept­able” that the of­fi­cer didn’t ac­ti­vate the cam­era and that she doesn’t “be­lieve there can be real ac­count­abil­ity if the of­fi­cer re­mains on the force.”

Po­lice are com­plet­ing their own in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but the Demo­cratic mayor says po­lice of­fi­cials have asked for Of­fi­cer Trainer’s res­ig­na­tion.

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice De­part­ment re­leased a state­ment Wed­nes­day say­ing Of­fi­cer Trainer will re­main on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave as the de­part­ment be­gins its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion now that the fed­eral probe is over.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials have said the chase be­gan when Ster­ling pulled in front of a po­lice cruiser and ac­cel­er­ated through a red light.

“Mr. Ster­ling looked over his shoul­der in the di­rec­tion of the of­fi­cers and then ac­cel­er­ated at a high rate of speed through the red light,” prose­cu­tors said in a state­ment.

A chase en­sued, cov­er­ing 25 city blocks, fed­eral of­fi­cials said. Ster­ling al­legedly drove 100 mph or more while nar­rowly miss­ing pedes­tri­ans and cars. The chase ended with the 31-year-old heat­ing and air-con­di­tion­ing tech­ni­cian ram­ming his mo­tor­cy­cle into a po­lice cruiser’s door.

An at­tor­ney for Ster­ling’s fam­ily says he didn’t col­lide with the car with any great force.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials said the level of al­co­hol in Ster­ling’s blood was 0.16, twice the le­gal limit. They said he also tested pos­i­tive for mar­i­juana.

The Septem­ber shoot­ing led to sus­tained protests and at­tracted na­tional at­ten­tion from ac­tivists con­cerned about po­lice bru­tal­ity.

Ster­ling’s par­ents filed a $50 mil­lion wrong­ful-death law­suit, claim­ing that Ster­ling posed no threat and that the of­fi­cer was neg­li­gent when he failed to turn on his body cam­era.

In re­sponse to the shoot­ing, city 911 op­er­a­tors have been in­structed to re­mind of­fi­cers to turn their cam­eras on, and of­fi­cers have been or­dered to ac­knowl­edge the re­minder.

The de­part­ment has not spec­i­fied the race of the of­fi­cer, but Ja­son Downs, the lead at­tor­ney for Ster­ling’s fam­ily, has said his un­der­stand­ing is the of­fi­cer is white.

Mr. Downs told Fox 5 on Wed­nes­day that there was “no good rea­son for the gov­ern­ment to de­cline to pros­e­cute un­der th­ese cir­cum­stances.”

“We have to ac­knowl­edge that this is an­other young man that was un­armed, that was killed by a po­lice of­fi­cer,” Mr. Downs added. “This is why peo­ple be­lieve that there are two jus­tice sys­tems: one for the po­lice of­fi­cers and one for the rest of us.”

Ster­ling’s death prompted protests by ac­tivists af­fil­i­ated with the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment. Steven Dou­glass, a youth min­is­ter who knew Ster­ling and or­ga­nized protests, told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Wed­nes­day that de­ci­sion not to pros­e­cute is a “smack in the face.”

“The com­mu­nity doesn’t feel safe,” Mr. Dou­glass said. “We now walk around with mur­der­ers who we pay with our tax dol­lars to pro­tect and serve. We will protest and let it be known that we as a com­mu­nity will not be ac­cept­ing this de­ci­sion.”


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