Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather will not be charging officers involved in the death of Harold Jermaine Easter.
Easter died on January 26, hospitalized after suffering a seizure while in police custody on January 23. Easter was arrested for conducting a suspected drug deal.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings,
The sergeant and the officers had intimate knowledge that Mr. Easter had ingested and swallowed cocaine during the traffic stop, Chief Jennings previously said. Additionally, the internal investigation determined Mr. Easter was left unattended inside an interview room for more than 20 minutes. At that time, he was clearly in need of medical attention.
But Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather said that his office had considered involuntary manslaughter charge for the officers involved, but said his office wouldn’t be able to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt and would have had to prove that Easter would have survived if the officers had gotten him medical attention.
Now, according to the police chief, these officers knew that Easter had swallowed cocaine and knew he needed medical attention when they left him unattended in an interview room for 20 minutes. In my opinion, I believe he probably would have survived if they would have gotten him medical attention, but Merriweather doesn’t think so.
Tuesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD officials say, Brentley Vinson, Michael Benfield, Michael Joseph, Shon Sheffield, and Sergent Nicholas Vincent were all involved and resigned after being cited termination as a result of Easter’s death.
The officer’s resignation comes after the video, which is labeled “disturbing,” is set to be released Thursday, October 1.
Vinson, who is among the officers involved, was the same officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in 2016. Now, at the time of that shooting, a review board found he had followed proper procedure and cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
The attorney for Easter’s family, Alex Heroy, says the officers involved are “trying to escape accountability,” by resigning before the board hearing.
Easter’s family is calling for Justice and an external investigation into their loved one’s death.
According to what the police have said, I believe negligence is involved in this case because you have a man who swallowed drugs, who needed medical attention, according to Chief Jennings, and was left unattended in an interview room for 20 minutes. THAT’S NEGLIGENT A*S HELL!
We will continue to keep you updated on this case.