Family of New Rochelle man fatally shot by police to file civil case against city
The family of a New Rochelle man who was shot and killed by police while armed with a gun say they will be filing a civil case against the city.
It comes after a grand jury's decision to not charge a New Rochelle police officer for shooting and killing an armed Kamal Flowers earlier this summer.
After six days of hearing evidence in the case, the grand jury found no reasonable cause to charge New Rochelle Police Officer Alec McKenna in the death of Flowers.
In early June, McKenna and another New Rochelle officer pulled over a car with Flowers in the passenger seat.
During the traffic stop, Flowers took off and McKenna chased after him before shooting and killing the 24-year-old after Flowers pointed a gun at the officer.
The grand jury heard from 35 witnesses and saw 223 pieces of evidence, including Flowers' DNA which was on the gun found at the scene.
Weighing an intentional murder charge, the grand jury found McKenna did not use excessive force. "After deliberating on the evidence presented in this matter, the grand jury found no reasonable cause to vote an indictment. I would like to thank the citizens of this county who comprised of the grand jury for their service and effort they devoted to this investigation," says Westchester District Attorney Anthony Scarpino.
The New Rochelle NAACP and Flowers' family has been pushing for the state to investigate the incident, but the Attorney General's Office declined because Flowers had a weapon on him.
Flowers' family, their attorney and local leaders say justice has not been served.
"Many people walk through this courthouse seeking justice. Neither truth nor justice was delivered to the Kamal Flowers family," says attorney Richard St. Paul.
They are asking for the proceeding's transcripts to be released and that McKenna be fired. They say they will be filing a civil case against the city.
The city of New Rochelle is launching an internal investigation, digging deeper into whether the New Rochelle City Police Department policies were in line.
“While the grand jury process has determined that there was not criminal action in this case, we will be reviewing the incident to make sure those rules were followed,” says Chuck Strome, New Rochelle’s city manager.
Chris Greco, the president of the city’s Police Benevolent Association, released a statement saying, “Any comparison between this incident and other controversial police shootings is without merit and baseless. The New Rochelle PBA is grateful for the service of the grand jury and for the diligence of the New York State Police and New Rochelle Police Department throughout this investigation.”
Officer McKenna remains on paid leave until the end of this internal investigation.