A grand jury’s decision to not levy charges against two Dallas Officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of a schizophrenic man has just been announced.
On June 14, 2014, Officers John Rodgers and Andrew Hutchins responded to a 911 call placed by one Shirley Harrison. Mrs. Harrison called 911, requesting police assistance with her 38-year-old son, Jason Harrison. Jason Harrison had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
After the two Dallas officers arrived on the scene, they began to politely talk with Mrs. Harrison. Almost immediately, however, Jason Harrison immersed from the behind his mother holding a small screwdriver. The officers immediately told Jason to drop the screwdriver, but Jason failed to acquiesce. Then, in what is a disputed moment from one of the officer’s body camera footage, Jason made some type of movement toward the officers, which was answered by six shots from one of the officers.
As a result of the six shots, Jason Harrison died on the scene. In what some may deem a strange turn of events, the Harrison family released the below video last month depicting the fatal shooting of Jason. [Warning: Graphic Content]
The Harrison family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit this past October. Releasing the above video is arguably an attempt by the Harrison Family to drum up public support of their case.
While the federal civil lawsuit filed by the Harrison family is still making its way through the judicial process, the possibility of a criminal case against the responding officers has officially been halted. RT reports that the Dallas County Grand Jury announced their decision to not levy charges against the officers on April 23.
Chris Livingston, an attorney for both the responding officers stated the following in regard to the Grand Jury’s decision.
“We appreciate the grand jury’s consideration of all the evidence in the matter. The City is currently defending the civil lawsuit. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those struggling with mental illness.”
Geoff Henley, the attorney for the Harrisons, unsurprisingly has a different sentiment toward the Grand Jury’s decision and the released footage.
“We maintain the footage shows him not stabbing, not thrusting, not lunging in a way that would jeopardize the lives of these officers.”
Henley also reaffirmed the Harrison family’s intention to continue with the civil rights lawsuit circulating around what is now being deemed as the “Screwdriver Shooting.”
“The family is obviously severely disappointed. But this isn’t going to affect our case. We’ll continue to move forward.”
[Image Credit to RT]