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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Inglewood Officers who Shot and Killed Black Couple Won’t Be Charged

The Los Angeles district attorney's office said the officers had reason to fear for their life and therefore use fatal force.

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San Francisco district attorney George Gascon in February 2019.
San Francisco district attorney George Gascon in February 2019.
Photo: Liz Hafalia/San Francisco Chronicle (AP)

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office will not be filing charges against the Inglewood police officers who shot and killed a Black couple inside their car in 2016, reported The Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors say there is insufficient evidence to justify charges.

In February of 2016, Kisha Michael and Marquintan Sandlin were found unconscious inside a car, according to LA Times’ report. Michael reportedly had a gun in her lap. Officers spent over a half hour trying to wake them. When Sandlin eventually woke up, Officer Richard Parcella said he saw him reach for the gun and shot at him five times. When Michael tried to exit the vehicle, officers also said she was reaching for the gun and shot at her 13 times.

Both died at the scene. Michael had three children and Sandlin had four daughters.

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More on the case from LA Times:

The office’s legal conclusion laid out in the 36-page document is largely centered on the determination that prosecutors could not disprove that the officers had a reasonable fear that either Michael or Sandlin would reach for the loaded gun that officers saw inside the car.

In a separate report also made public late Wednesday, prosecutors said they would not charge the Pasadena police officer who shot and killed Anthony McClain as he fled from a traffic stop two years ago. The Aug. 15, 2020, shooting spurred protests by Black Lives Matter in the streets of Old Pasadena and gained the attention of nationally renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.

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San Francisco activists said District Attorney Gascón wouldn’t be the best to handle police brutality cases. As top prosecutor in the Bay Area, he didn’t charge a single officer in a shooting case for the eight years he worked there, per LA Times. Ironically, Gascón was elected as district attorney on the promise of ensuring police accountability.

“We know this is excruciating and that the families are understandably devastated,” said Gascón in a statement via LA Times. “We do want to be clear: the burden of proof for prosecution is high. Our decision does not mean that what happened is right.”