Monday, February 8, 2010

Your Black Politics: Cop Not Indicted for Shooting Unarmed Man


NEW ORLEANS – A grand jury on Thursday declined to indict a white police officer who shot an elderly black man in the small Louisiana town of Homer in a case that heightened racial tension and sparked protests.

The panel returned a “no true bill,” meaning the case won’t go to trial, after considering and rejecting a range of charges including murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide against former police officer Tim Cox.

Many in the rural town of 3,800 were outraged by the shooting last February of Bernard Monroe, a 73-year-old left voiceless by cancer. Police said Monroe was armed when he was shot outside his home, but witnesses said he didn’t have a weapon.

The grand jury heard testimony from 20 witnesses over two days, said Kurt Wall, director of the criminal division of the state attorney general’s office. The attorney general handled the case after the local prosecutor recused himself.

“We believe it was a full, complete, accurate and thorough presentation conducted at a neutral site. We respect the grand jury’s decision,” Wall said.

An FBI spokeswoman said the bureau is continuing to investigate the case.

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