A White 18-year-old man who hit and killed a Black man with his pickup truck and made light of the situation by using the N-word on social media won’t be charged with a crime, according to The New York Daily News.
Louisiana police officials said on Thursday that after “a very thorough and comprehensive investigation into the crash” they determined that Matthew Martin did not break any traffic laws and wasn’t using his cell phone when he killed Sherell Lewis Jr. on May 29, per the Daily News.
“Martin was operating his vehicle at the posted speed limit of 55 mph, prior to the crash, and decreased his speed as he approached Lewis Jr.’s location in the roadway,” they wrote on Facebook. “As Martin was nearing the scene, he switched his vehicle from the right lane to the left lane. Injuries Lewis Jr. sustained and the front bumper damage to the Chevrolet helped to confirm the direction Lewis Jr. was walking when the collision occurred.”
Lewis, who died on his birthday, was removing debris from highway 171 when Martin’s pick up truck struck him.
Images from Snapchat obtained by The Daily News shows Martin referring to Lewis as “some n*gger” and showing concern over his truck rather than Lewis.
Law enforcement officials said that Martin’s comments were “insensitive” but that he didn’t break any laws in Louisiana with his social media posts.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.