Terrence Sterling witness who testified before grand jury surprised no charges filed against officer
WASHINGTON - A grand jury and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said there was insufficient evidence to press criminal charges against D.C. Police Officer Brian Trainer for the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorcyclist last year.
Howard Dorsey was an eyewitness to Terrence Sterling's death and recorded video from the scene last Sept. 11.
"It came out of nowhere. You hear the [screech] - no lights, no nothing," he recalled. "All I just heard, 'Pow, pow, pow!' I thought it was three shots, but it was two shots. So I just automatically ducked."
It is the first time Dorsey is speaking out publicly after testifying before the grand jury that investigated whether or not to indict Officer Trainer.
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"I felt like it was very few questions that was asked [because] I thought I was very detailed in what I said," Dorsey said.
He said he was surprised he was not called back to testify a second time. But he was even more surprised when the U.S. Attorney's Office decided to not pursue charges against the D.C. police officer.
"I was really surprised because when I said what I said to the grand jury, I told the truth in everything that I said," said Dorsey. "Regardless of what he did before he came to me, I [saw] what happened right there."
Hours after Sterling was shot to death by Officer Trainer, then-Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said at the time, "The person who was riding the motorcycle attempted to flee, ended up striking the police car, and at that point, shots were fired."
"The interview that he said that [Sterling] came up speeding was incorrect because I gave them a video and I gave them my statement," said Dorsey.
According to Dorsey, Sterling was walking on his motorcycle and came to a complete stop at a red traffic light.
Almost a year after Sterling's death and despite the findings of the U.S. Attorney's Office maintaining there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Officer Trainer, Newsham and Mayor Muriel Bowser are calling for his resignation.
FOX 5 asked the D.C. Police Union to respond to the calls for Trainer's resignation, but through a surrogate, union chairman Matthew Mahl said he had no comment.
The police union did respond to the grand jury's decision in a statement that said in part:
"As always the D.C. Police Union supports our members, and will continue to protect our members rights though the remainder of the investigative process."
An internal affairs investigation will now resume in this case.
The Sterling family has already filed a $50 million civil lawsuit against Officer Trainer, the police department and the District of Columbia.