Dallas cops will not face charges for shooting and killing mentally-ill man holding a screwdriver
Two Dallas police officers who shot and killed a mentally ill man holding a screwdriver last year will not be indicted, a grand jury decided on Thursday.
Officers John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins shot Jason Harrison, 38, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, after they ordered him to drop the screwdriver he was holding, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The grand jury decision comes as police across the country have come under increasing scrutiny for using deadly force, particularly against black men, after high profile killings of unarmed African-Americans in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.
The incident was captured on a police body camera and released by Harrison’s family in March. A Dallas Police spokesman said when the video was released that the officers feared for their lives.
Harrison’s mother called police on June 14, 2014, to ask them to help her son who was suffering a mental crisis, according to the Dallas Morning News.
In the video, she opens the door to the awaiting officers and he appears behind her twiddling a screwdriver. The officers immediately order him to drop the tool and within seconds fire several shots, killing Harrison.
Harrison’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the two officers in October, arguing that he did not pose a threat, according to the complaint.
(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas)