A Black Louisiana man who was accused of attempted murder of a police officer had the charges against him dropped because of insufficient evidence, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said on Tuesday, according to WAFB 9.
The Baton Rouge Police Department accused Raheem Howard, 21, of trying to kill one of its officers and for illegally using a weapon after he was pulled over for a traffic violation last month. Both charges were dropped.
“At this point, I didn’t think there was sufficient evidence,” Moore said, according to The Advocate. “That doesn’t mean there will be no charges stemming from this case.”
His attorney, Ron Haley, disputed the official report that said that Officer Yuseff Hamadeh chased after Howard following the traffic stop and was allegedly shot at by his client because Howard did not have a weapon.
“He didn’t have it. There was [no] evidence. Because he didn’t have a gun, he didn’t fire a shot. And I think the suppression of the evidence by the cameras either malfunctioning or being willfully turned off only lends to that argument,” said Haley.
Howard, who’s in jail because of unrelated charges, and his family are considering taking civil action against Hamadeh, who had his body camera turned off during the incident.
The district attorney said that witnesses only heard one shot fired and shell casings found at the scene were only from the officer’s funs.
“Based on the review of that, I didn’t have sufficient evidence to continue on those charges at this time,” Moore said.