WASHINGTON — The U.S. Attorney's Office announced that they will not pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against the DC Police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Deon Kay.
Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and DC Police's Internal Affairs Division informed Kay’s family Thursday afternoon of the decision.
"Based on the results of a thorough investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office cannot prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the MPD officer who shot Mr. Kay committed willful violations of the applicable federal criminal civil rights statute," the U.S. Attorney's office said in a release.
The investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney's office included statements from other officers and witnesses at the scene of the shooting -- including a statement by the officer, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Body-worn camera footage, radio transmissions, evidence from the scene including forensic tests, and autopsy and toxicology reports were also included in the investigation.
"The review uncovered no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution," the U.S. Attorney's office said in a release.
The investigation revealed that there was no evidence to establish "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the officer willfully committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242.
"The U.S. Attorney’s Office is unable to disprove a claim of self-defense or defense of others by the officer involved, who fired a single shot at Mr. Kay within one second of Mr. Kay holding a gun in his hand and raising his arm," the U.S. Attorney's office said. "The U.S. Attorney’s Office has therefore closed its investigation into this matter."
At around 3:50 p.m. on Sept. 2, 2020, police were working on a tip that there were guns in a vehicle in the area that was shown on a live-streamed social media video, according to MPD Chief of Police Peter Newsham.
Chief Newsham said the shooting happened shortly before 5 p.m. that day in the 200 block of Orange Street, Southeast.
In the body camera footage released by Chief Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser, MPD officer Alvarez exits his car and begins to approach a separate parked car. One man is seen running away, prompting Alvarez and other officers behind him to pursue.
Alvarez runs after the two men and is heard yelling "don't move" multiple times. Alvarez runs several feet before turning around, where Kay is seen in between him and the other officers in pursuit. Kay is holding a gun in his right hand and appears to toss the weapon over Alvarez's head when Alvarez fires a single shot, striking Kay in the chest.
Kay was transported to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries but was later pronounced dead.
At a news conference on Sept. 3, 2020, Mayor Bowser and Chief Newsham discussed the video along with the findings during their preliminary investigation.
"The footage is an important tool to hold officers accountable," Bowser said during the news conference.
Chief Newsham said the second man they pursued escaped.
NOTE: Graphic Content. MPD provided this bodycam footage to us with the blur already edited on several subjects. We made no edits to it.
At the scene, Chief Newsham said they retrieved two guns. They also said that 19-year-old Marcyelle Smith was charged with carrying a pistol without a license and 18-year-old Deonte Brown was charged with not having a driver's license.
"Uniformed police officers had information that there were guys in the neighborhood with guns, specifically," Newsham said in a press conference on the night of Sept. 2, 2020. "That's what they were looking for and evidently that's what they found."
The officers involved were placed on administrative leave.
NOTE: Graphic Content. MPD provided this full bodycam footage to us with the blur already edited on several subjects. We made no edits to it.