Terrence Sterling investigation: Why is it taking so long?

Terrence Sterling, an unarmed black man, shot and killed by DC police 9 months ago. His parents are STILL waiting for answers about what happened. What's taking so long?

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - It's been nine months and there's still no answer as to the status of the Terrence Sterling shooting investigation. 

The family has sued the city for $50 million but the Attorney General has stayed the discovery, or the investigation into the civil case while the criminal case is pending. 

The lawyer representing the Sterling family say out of all the murder cases he's tried in Baltimore none has ever taken this long. Though, he’s under the impression because of the legal moves the city made in the civil lawsuit that we could see some kind of resolution to the criminal case by mid-July.

Sterling family civil suit by wusa9 on Scribd

Read D.C.'s response to the Sterling family's civil suit

Still, he said the family cannot wait any longer. They’ve been patient but he said they've about had enough.

In their first and only television interview, the family sat down with WUSA9’s Delia Gonçalves. With tears streaming down his face, Terrence’s father, Isaac, said, “I’ve prayed and asked God to help me cope with it but I still have family and friends and a wife and they have questions.”

RELATED: Terrence Sterling: Unarmed & killed by police, his family speaks out

So what does the city say? Well, we know the Grand Jury has already convened to look at whether or not Officer Brian Trainer should face criminal charges, but their proceedings are secret so the U.S Attorney's Office is keeping quiet. 

We asked the mayor's people, "what's the hold up?" WUSA9's Delia Goncalves received a text from Kevin Donahue. He’s the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice.

"We want a decision to come out as quickly as possible but without sacrificing the thoroughness of the investigation," Donahue wrote. 

The city has nine months to complete a criminal investigation if a suspect is locked up, Officer Trainer is free. He's home on paid leave so there is no statute of limitations in the case. 

According to our media partners at the Washington Post, the city was criticized in a 2016 report over "excessive delays" in the investigations of deadly shootings by police officers (an average of 19 months). Out of 21 deadly shootings between 2009 and 2014, not one officer has ever been charged.

RELATED STORIES:

Sterling family calls for DC officer's firing after shooting

Family of Terrence Sterling files $50 million lawsuit against DC police

Sadness, frustration as DC police-involved shooting victim laid to rest

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