Local lawmaker wants DOJ to investigate deadly officer-involved - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Local lawmaker wants DOJ to investigate deadly officer-involved shooting

Police on scene at First Avenue and Hanes Street in Prichard on Nov. 18, 2017. Lawrence Hawkins was fatally shot by a police officer. (Photo: Josh Harlan, FOX10 News) Police on scene at First Avenue and Hanes Street in Prichard on Nov. 18, 2017. Lawrence Hawkins was fatally shot by a police officer. (Photo: Josh Harlan, FOX10 News)
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

UPDATE (04/17): 

District Attorney Ashley Rich tells FOX10 News the case still needs to be reviewed by her office. Once it is, it will then go to the next available grand jury. That could be a while, she says, because of the back up in grand jury cases. 

Rich says she believes, unlike Rep. Bracy, that officer-involved shootings are handled well, and she sees no problem with the Mobile County Sheriff's Office investigating a Prichard Police case. 

Original Story:

A local lawmaker is now calling on federal investigators to look into a deadly officer-involved shooting.

State representative Napoleon Bracy (District 98) sent a letter to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, asking them to investigate the death of a 56-year-old man, allegedly shot and killed by a Prichard Police officer last year. 

The case has now been handed over to the District Attorney's Office. The Mobile County Sheriff's Office has completed its investigation. Representative Bracy tells FOX10 News, that's the problem. He thinks an outside agency should get involved.

You may remember, Bracy asked for the same thing during the Michael Moore investigation. Moore was shot and killed by a Mobile Police Officer in 2016. The feds did get involved but they didn't find any evidence to charge the officer. 

As for this latest case, Bracy wants the DOJ to look into the death of 56-year-old Lawrence Hawkins, a Prichard man who was allegedly killed by a Prichard Police officer in November. Investigators say Hawkins wasn't armed when he was shot during a traffic stop. Bracy says since then, some folks in the community have called on him to change the way officer-involved shootings are handled. 

"At the end of the day, that's an alarming concern in our community, that people are being killed and they don't have weapons. It's always, 'I thought I saw something.' What can we do to make sure the community is safe, in situations like this. I mean the police are here to protect and serve."

Bracy says he will bring up the problem in the next legislative session. He wants the Alabama Bureau of Investigation to automatically investigate every officer-involved shooting, instead of other local agencies "policing themselves."

We have reached out to the District Attorney's office for the latest on this case, but haven't heard back.

Here is the full letter:

 

[App users click here to see the letter]

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