Group fires back against Justice Department letter - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Group fires back against Justice Department letter

YOU CAN WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE FROM FRIDAY MORNING IN THE VIDEO PLAYER TO THE RIGHT OF THIS STORY>>>

The mother of a 12-year-old boy killed by police called Thursday for a grand jury investigation into her son's death, despite a Justice Department decision not to seek civil rights charges in the shooting.
     
The Justice Department said Wednesday that DeAuntae Farrow's civil rights were not "willfully abused" when he was shot June 22 by a West Memphis police officer on undercover assignment at an apartment complex.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT'S LETTER>>>

Gregory Grant, President of the Memphis of the National Action Network called a new conference Thursday to express outrage over the justice department's opinion on the shooting death of DeAunta Farrow.

"The U.S. Department of Justice is saying its okay, and that his life is not worth somebody being accountable," Grant said.
     
Lawyer Javier Bailey said Debra Farrow, the boy's mother, wants another federal investigation, this time by a grand jury made up of citizens from eastern Arkansas.

With Farrow's mother Deborah at his side, attorney Javier Bailey referred to the grand jury investigation in Virginia that led to federal dogfighting charges against suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick.

"They submitted a case to a grand jury for the death of dogs, yet they would not submit this case for the death of a black child," Bailey said.

Police officer Erik Sammis told investigators he shot DeAuntae because he thought the boy was armed with a handgun. Police say DeAuntae was playing with a toy gun, though his family disputes that, saying he was not carrying anything that resembled a firearm.

"We believe that DeAunta has in his hands chips and a 16 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola," Bailey said.

While the Justice Department's civil rights division has ended its investigation, state authorities are still looking into theshooting and a special prosecutor has been assigned to the case.

Organizers of Thursday's press conference said they would hold a rally to show their displeasure in teh Justice Department findings Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the Steeplechase apartments, the West Memphis Apartment complex where 12-year-old Farrow was killed.

Stay with WMCTV.com for updates on this story.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Click here to send an email to Anna Marie Hartman.
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