TheTennessee Bureau of Investigation file on a Memphis police officer Connor Schilling’s shooting of Darrius Stewart was posted Tuesday for public review on the website of Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich, reports the Commercial Appeal.
The July 17 fatal shooting of Stewart, a black 19-year-old, by a white officer after a traffic stop sparked protests, marches and vigils in Memphis.
Weirich petitioned a court for the release of the TBI file, which by state law is sealed, saying in such an “emotionally charged situation” it was in the public’s best interest. The 918-page report offers the first public look into the circumstances surrounding the shooting, including eyewitness accounts, cell phone videos, the officer’s interview with investigators and the autopsy report.
…On Tuesday afternoon outside the courthouse at 140 Adams, lawyers held a press conference alongside Stewart’s father, Henry Williams.
“I always told (Darrius) that the police was supposed to protect,” Williams said. “That’s what he always believed. That’s what all of us really believed. But I see now we’re getting to the point and the fact that it’s hard to trust them.”
Carlos Moore, attorney for Stewart’s father, said the family is disgusted and dismayed by the contents of the report, and that Schilling should have been indicted. He said they ask the community to remain calm and said the family remains cautiously optimistic for the outcome of a federal review of the shooting.
“It’s clear that he was racially profiled,” Moore said. “If he had been a white man, a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for a malfunctioning headlight he would not have been asked for his ID.”
Moore said multiple eyewitness statements show “how this man was executed by Connor Schilling. There’s no justified reason for him not to be indicted,” Moore said.
Schilling’s attorney said the report confirms that the grand jury did the right thing when it failed to indict the officer.
“The Shelby County grand jury, an independent body, got it right,” Art Quinn said. “It is still disheartening that the attorney general saw it differently.”
Weirich, who declined interview requests Tuesday, said previously that a combination of facts led to her recommendation to charge the officer. “It’s not one particularly smoking … weapon that was the jump-out, gotcha piece of evidence,” she said. “But it was everything compiled by the TBI that was presented to us.”