AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin police officer who shot and killed a fleeing suspect during a struggle after an April 5th 2012 traffic stop was not indicted, a grand jury document released Thursday shows.
Officer Eric Copeland fired the shots that killed 37-year-old Ahmede Jabbar Bradley as the man was attempting to choke him with the cord to his microphone, police said at the time.
Now, 17 months later, Police chief Art Acevedo told KXAN Thursday evening he hopes the District Attorney's Office is more diligent with how long future grand jury indictments can take.
"If you think about it, for those officers, for those family that were involved from the community, they want answers, they want closure -- the length I think is a little bit of a concern for me," he said outside Huston-Tillotson University where the Chief was on a panel looking at Florida's Trayvon Martin shooting - the killing of an unarmed black man. The shooter, George Zimmerman was acquitted.
The incident involving Officer Eric Copeland started April 5, 2012, when the patrol officer was trying to stop a vehicle in the 6000 block of 51st Street around 6:40 p.m.
When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver took off and headed north on to Overbrook Drive where he dumped his vehicle and took off on foot.
At the time, Chief Acevedo described a 'violent struggle' for the officer's gun where Bradley died at the scene.
A call to 911 from a witness captured the dramatic events as they unfolded.
Caller: "He's about to pull his gun off of him."
Dispatcher: "OK, the (suspect) is about to pull the gun from the officer?"
Caller: "Yeah, they're wrestling. ... Oh my God."
Dispatcher: "And they're wrestling on the ground?"
Caller: "Yeah, oh my God. Oh my God. He shot him."
Dispatcher: "Who shot who?"
Caller: "The cop shot him."
The Chief maintained officers, like anyone have the right to defend themselves, but he was thankful uninvolved Austin residents did not hesitate to call for help.
"They were able to provide that information the police department, the district attorney's office and the grand jury."
Bradley had a long his history with police, including 30 arrests and a history of drug use, police said.
Bradley was also carrying more than an ounce of cocaine and $1,700 in cash when he was killed, police said.
Some have suggested that the man was shot in the back. His mother, Angela Orr, has said police have dragged their feet on the investigation into her son's death. That notion was echoed Thursday by NAACP's Nelson Linder. who also sat on the same Huston-Tillotson panel the Chief was a part of.
Linder told KXAN, "It's not just the police, city council, state reps, state senators. all these folks have responsibility primarily. None of them are at the table. That's a problem."
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