Connor Schilling: Grand Jury Clears Memphis Cop In Darrius Stewart Shooting

Connor Schilling, a Memphis police officer, has been cleared in the fatal shooting of Darrius Stewart. A Tennessee grand jury opted against levying voluntary manslaughter charges against the white cop accused of killing an unarmed black man.

Darrius Stewart, 19, reportedly initiated a physical altercation with Connor Schilling during a traffic stop in Shelby County. The Stewart family is not pleased by the decision of the grand jury and stated that they will push for a federal civil rights investigation, according to a Daily Mail report.

darrius stewart
Memphis police officer Connor Schilling not indicted in Darrius Stewart shooting case.

No facts have serviced to indicate any racist behavior on the part of the Memphis police officer, but the difference in the skin color of the men may be enough for the federal government to step into the state case.

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich had recommended that Officer Schilling be indicted on both the voluntary manslaughter and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The district attorney has so far refused to elaborate on her charging recommendations publicly.

Darrius Stewart was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle stopped by the Memphis cop on July 17 for a headlight violation. Stewart was reportedly put in the back of a patrol car without handcuffs on his wrists as the officer ran a check to see if he had an active warrants.

When Connor Schilling returned to the back of the police cruiser to arrest Stewart on an outstanding warrant, the suspect reportedly kicked the car door open and attacked him. Stewart reportedly beat Schilling with a set of handcuffs.

The Memphis police officer shot Stewart with his sidearm during the struggle outside of the cruiser. Darrius was shot twice by Schilling and died a short time later at a local hospital. The law enforcement officer was relieved of duty, as is procedure, pending the outcome of the use of force investigation.

Carlos Moore, the lawyer representing Stewart’s father, Henry Williams, held a news conference after the Schilling grand jury ruling and demanded that a civil rights investigation be launched. Williams also stated that he felt the police officer should resign or be fired.

“A police officer took a young man’s life, no matter what,” Williams said. “I hate that it was my son.”

A hearing will be held soon on undisclosed administrative charges pending against Schilling, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said. The district attorney has spoken with Stewart’s family but had not shared any details of the conversation, Fox News 18 reports.

“I understand how upsetting and alarming this news is and will continue to be during the next weeks and months,” Amy Weirich said.

Mary Stewart, the mother of Darrius, stated via her attorney, John Keith Perry, that she waited patiently for nearly 100 days for the investigation into her son’s death to be completed.

“She understandably, like his father, is now heartbroken for a second time,” Perry added.

Local Pastor Keith Norman urged residents to remember how the confrontation between Officer Schilling and Stewart began.

“A young man is dead because of a traffic stop. Let’s not forget that,” Pastor Norman, who is also the president of the local NAACP chapter, said.

The shooting also led Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton Jr. to ask for a review of police policy regarding how officers deal with car passengers during traffic stops. He has requested information from the police department on when it is permissible to question, detain and search a passenger in a car that has been stopped by police.

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