WEST MEMPHIS, AR - The mother of a 12-year-old boy killed by police called today for a grand jury investigation into her son's death, despite a Justice Dept. decision not to seek civil rights changes in the shooting.
The Justice Dept. said yesterday that DeAuntae Farrow's civil rights were not "willfully abused" when he was shot June 22 by a West Memphis police officer on undercover assignment at an apartment complex.
Lawyer Javier Bailey says Debra Farrow, the boy's mother, wants another federal investigation, this time by a grand jury made up of citizens from eastern Arkansas.
Bailey says the Justice Dept. can present its findings to the jurors "for them to decide whether or not criminal sanctions should be implemented."
Police officer Erik Sammis told investigators he shot DeAuntae because he thought the boy was armed with a handgun. Police say DeAuntae was playing with a toy gun, though his family disputes that, saying he was not carrying anything that resembled a firearm.
While the Justice Department's civil rights division has ended its investigation, state authorities are still looking into the shooting and a special prosecutor has been assigned to the case.