The coroner releases a mere 3-page death report. And the district attorney can’t secure an indictment against the officers.
SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) –
The grand jury declined to indict the officers who shot and killed a man when they served a warrant at the wrong house.
Ismael Lopez was shot and killed by police while he stood inside the front door of his Southaven home in July 2017.
District Attorney John Champion said he took the case to a grand jury in an effort to indict the officers on homicide charges. Champion failed to get the grand jury to return an indictment.
“The grand jury was given all of the evidence and they decided not to indict,” Champion said. “From my perspective, the case is closed at this point.”
“Everything about this is wrong. I am outraged. Shame, shame on the police department, shame on the DA. Mr. Champion, shame on you. You need to retire,” Pastor Rolando Rostro, Lopez family advocate, said.
Champion said a Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent testified at the grand jury hearing. He said the officers in question did not testify.
When asked if he thought the officers committed second-degree murder, Champion avoided giving a direct answer.
“My personal opinion doesn’t matter,” Champion said.
Champion said the autopsy that he received in June 2018 was poorly done. He briefly talked about the ongoing problem of delayed autopsies in Mississippi, and he implied that Lopez’s autopsy was not thorough.
He said most autopsies are 10 or more pages, but Lopez’s autopsy was just two or three pages.
“There’s nothing in it honestly,” Champion said.
However, when asked if he informed the grand jury of his reservations about the autopsy, he said he did not.
Champion did say that the autopsy showed that Lopez was shot in the back of the head. This is what Lopez’s attorney has been saying for nearly a year.