A grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the July death of a black man in a horse-drawn buggy, saying that the man died of asphyxiation after ingesting cocaine and that the officer did not use excessive force.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Jonathan Sanders, who was stopped by Officer Kevin Herrington of the Stonewall police, were unclear at the time, prompting protests and allegations of police brutality. Officer Herrington had “reasonable suspicion” to believe Mr. Sanders was involved in drug activity, according to the grand jury report released Monday.
It said there was no evidence the officer used racial slurs during the confrontation. Police Chief Michael Street said that Officer Herrington had found a plastic bag of cocaine on Mr. Sanders while patting him down, and that Mr. Sanders then snatched the bag and swallowed it.
A lawyer for the Sanders family, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, called the grand jury’s decision “a miscarriage of justice” and said the family would push for a federal inquiry.
AP/Jan. 11, 2016