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Grand jury declines to indict Hammond police officer who shot unarmed man in no-knock raid

4 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Friday, March 08 2024 Mar 8, 2024 March 08, 2024 2:57 PM March 08, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

AMITE — A Tangipahoa Parish grand jury has decided not to indict a Hammond police officer following the shooting of an unarmed man during an early morning raid last summer.

District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said Friday the panel heard testimony from seven witnesses in a four-hour session and opted for a "no true bill" in the case of officer Craig Dunn.

Dunn was accused of discharging his weapon and shooting a suspect. Body camera video obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit showed narcotics officers going down a hallway in Lionell Jackson's home last July 15. Dunn fired his weapon as the officers reached Jackson's bedroom, shooting Jackson in the neck and hospitalizing him.

"On Friday afternoon, the grand jury returned a no true bill, which means that the panel declined to charge, or 'indict' the defendant," Perrilloux said in a statement. 

Dunn said he feared for his life at the time he shot Jackson.

The video obtained by WBRZ showed force their way into Jackson's trailer just after 6 a.m. on July 15. They had a no-knock search warrant for the home, officials said.

The video shows officers breaking open the door and going up the steps. Dunn led the group from the living room, down a hallway, past a bathroom and to Jackson's bedroom. Going through the house, police repeatedly ordered anyone inside to show their hands and come out where officers can see them.

At the back bedroom doorway, Dunn leaned into the darkened bedroom and fires one shot.

After the gunfire, the officer behind Dunn takes a step into the room. His body cam video shows Jackson with his hands up, moving from his bed to the bedroom floor. His hands move to hold his neck as blood pools on the ground.

A few minutes later, Acadian Ambulance arrived. Before Jackson was taken to a hospital, a paramedic asked if he shot himself.

The body cam footage continues with officers searching the area. Detectives said they heard pills rattling in the plumbing pipes. The video shows an officer finding a baggie in the bathtub and more pills in the toilet. 

Jackson was charged with possession with intent to distribute Schedule II drugs, tampering with evidence, five counts of possession of legend drugs and one count of possession of a firearm while in the presence of drugs. 

Jackson's attorney, Daryl Washington told WBRZ today's grand jury proceedings were "an insult to the entire grand jury system as a whole and there was no effort made to indict [Officer Dunn]." He believes District Attorney Perrilloux should have recused himself in favor of a different prosecutor.

A civil lawsuit is still pending.

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