No charges in police shooting of Stephens City man
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The lawyer for the family of a Virginia man fatally shot by Martinsburg police says he will seek a federal investigation of the incident after a grand jury declined to indict the officers.
Sherman Lambert told media outlets that he was disappointed by the Berkeley County grand jury’s decision.
“My response to the no true bill of indictment is decent people will not accept that response,” Lambert said Wednesday. “If that is the case, I don’t think anyone is safe in Berkeley County because it appears to be a concerted effort whereas if you are shot and killed nothing is going to happen to the shooters if they are city of Martinsburg police officers.”
The grand jury’s decision came about four hours after it heard witnesses and received the findings of an investigation of the shooting, Berkeley County prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely told media outlets. The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia State Police branch of the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crime Task Force.
Games-Neely said that the case also was reviewed by an outside expert on training of law enforcement officers.
She declined to identify the five Martinsburg officers involved in the shooting.
Police have said Wayne Arnold Jones, 50, of Stephens City, Va., was shot on March 13 after he stabbed on officer during a scuffle. The officers had stopped Jones while walking on a city street. He told the officers he had a weapon but wouldn’t say what it was, and police said he grew angry and refused their subsequent orders. He fled into a doorway, and the officers pursued.
In the scuffle that followed, police said, the officers used stun guns on Jones, and he allegedly stabbed one of the officers in the torso. Police then shot Jones several times.
Jones’ family filed a $200 million federal lawsuit against the city of Martinsburg and the five officers in June, alleging the officers used unreasonable force.
“I am deeply disappointed that the system didn’t work for Mr. Wayne Jones,” Lambert said. “And I regret that the federal authorities will have to do what the prosecuting attorney should have done.”
Games-Neely said that the case was thoroughly investigated.
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