The death of Raynette Turner will be the first case the New York State Attorney General will investigate since Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order last month, stating that all police officers involved in civilian deaths are to be investigated. According to The Journal News, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will probe the death of the 42-year-old Westchester County woman who died July 27 in a holding cell at Mount Vernon police headquarters while awaiting an arraignment date on a shoplifting charge. “We’re going to handle this investigation impartially, thoroughly and completely independently and follow the facts wherever they lead,” Schneiderman told reporters in Manhattan. In a statement, Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis said the city will cooperate with Schneiderman’s probe. In a statement, Cuomo said Turner’s death “raises questions.” An autopsy was inconclusive, and toxicology results won’t be available for weeks.
That same day, trial began for Charlotte officer who fatally shot a 24-year-old, reports The New York TImes. Opening statements were heard on Monday and two portrayals of Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player who wrecked his fiancée’s car in an unfamiliar neighborhood and knocked on doors for help, were presented. Kerrick’s lawyer attributed the shooting to bad decisions made by Ferrell, which Kerrick believed that Ferrell had been drinking, smoking marijuana, and acted aggressively when he knocked on a stranger’s door after a car crash. The lawyer also stated that Ferrell attacked Kerrick even after being shot several times, climbing on top of him and striking the officer’s face until he was subdued. Prosecutors portrayed Ferrell as a soft-spoken young man who had been out with friends and was seeking help as he ran, fearing for his life, after another officer aimed a laser-sighted Taser at his chest. Kerrick, who has been suspended without pay, was charged quickly after the shooting. It took a second grand jury to send him to trial after a first declined to indict. Mr. Ferrell’s family have already reached a $2.25 million settlement with the City of Charlotte in a wrongful death lawsuit. Officer Randall Kerrick is on trial for voluntary manslaughter charges. The trial is expected to continue for several weeks.
Police shot and killed a man in southeast Albuquerque on July 3. KOAT-TV reports that the suspect was accused of pointing a gun at officers, who then opened fire. Officers say they spotted Rafael Molina Jr.’s SUV near Eighth Street and Central Avenue after a 911 caller said they witnessed Molina and a female arguing in Robinson Park. As police attempted to stop the vehicle, the 33-year-old initially pulled over near Fourth Street at Bridge but then fled, police said. The suspect headed east on Avenida Cesar Chavez, and a female passenger was able exit the vehicle before the shooting, but suffered minor injuries. Officers attempted another traffic stop near Edith and Garfield, at which time shots were fired. Witnesses said they recalled hearing at least three shots. Albuquerque Police Spokesperson Celina Espinoza stated that a .22-caliber pistol was found near Molina’s body, and that a witness saw Molina raise the gun, pointing it at officers. Espinoza mentioned that the safety was disengaged on the weapon and that the gun was loaded. Espinoza says that lapel footage from the shooting is being reviewed, and that investigators are waiting for a search warrant to search Molina’s vehicle. Two officers were placed on paid leave.
The Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney has released body camera footage capturing the moment a Cincinnati police officer shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate, reports the Associated Press. Authorities said Officer Ray Tensing spotted a car driven by 43-year-old, Samuel DuBose and a struggle ensued after DuBose refused to provide a driver’s license and exit his vehicle. Tensing said he was dragged by the car and forced to shoot Dubose. He fired once, striking DuBose in the head. On the footage released from Tensing’s body camera video, the officer could be heard asking for DuBose’s driver’s license several times with DuBose saying he had one. Later, DuBose said, “But I don’t think I have it on me.” Tensing asks DuBose to unbuckle his seat belt. About that time, Tensing pulls on the door handle, and DuBose puts his hand on the door to keep it closed. Last Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Tensing on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ray Tensing is the first officer in Cincinnati to face murder charges for killing someone in the line of duty.
Yesterday marked the one-year-anniversary of the death of John Crawford, III, who was fatally show in an Ohio Walmart after another customer called police claiming that the man was armed and brandishing a weapon. Crawford was holding an air-soft rifle sold by the retail giant. His family’s civil suit goes to trial in 2017.