WASHINGTON, DC -- Wednesday, just hours after the US Attorney's Office announced that no charges would be filed against MPD Officer Brian Trainer, the police officer who shot and killed 31-year-old Terrence Sterling, an emotional crowd of protestors gathered at the intersection of 3rd and M Street NW, where Sterling, 31, lost his life on September 11, 2016.
“Terrence, you matter! You matter Terrence! You matter!”, chanted demonstrators at Sterling's memorial site.
Sterling was shot and killed by Officer Trainer after a pursuit where officers say Sterling was driving erratically on his motorcycle.
Demonstrators who are upset about the decision not to indict Officer Trainer, say they thought this time would be different.
“This one is a lot different because we just knew that this would be the case that breaks the back of the justice and the injustice that’s been going around the country.”, said Stephen Douglas.
A detailed account of the moments leading up to the shooting, according to a statement from the US Attorney's Office says, "After Mr. Sterling stopped his motorcycle at the intersection of Third and M Streets NW, the officers pulled their cruiser into the intersection and partially blocked Mr. Sterling’s lane of travel. The officers intended to stop the motorcycle’s forward progress and arrest Mr. Sterling. With Mr. Sterling still on his motorcycle and generally facing the passenger side of the cruiser, the officer removed his firearm from the holster, put it into the tuck position (pointed downward and close to his body), and opened the cruiser’s passenger door to exit the cruiser.
In this moment, according to the evidence, Mr. Sterling revved his motorcycle and then accelerated and turned it toward the cruiser’s exposed passenger side. The officer, who was partially out of the cruiser, never got a chance to fully exit the vehicle. He felt the impact of the motorcycle hitting the cruiser’s door. The impact caused by the advancing motorcycle caused a dent in the cruiser’s open door and a bruise to the officer’s knee. The officer reacted by immediately firing two rounds at Mr. Sterling through his front passenger window. The rounds struck Mr. Sterling in the right side and neck."
Sterling's family has also filed a $50 million dollar civil case against MPD which states that Officer Trainer used excessive force and did not activate his body worn camera until after the shooting.
In a statement, MPD said that an investigation into Terrence Sterling's death would be carried out immediately by Internal Affairs to be completed within 90 days.
In a separate statement, Mayor Muriel Bowser says that MPD has called for Officer Trainer's resignation.
He is now on administrative leave.
Douglas says this decision may have been a setback, but the fight for justice will continue.
He said, “We know God has the last say so, and he does work in mysterious ways. And so, we still have trust that we’re still going to have change because of this young man’s life and his name, but we still have work to do.”