Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cohen Continues Push for Federal Review of Stewart Case

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 1:14 PM

U.S. Attorney General [USAG] Loretta Lynch heard Darius Stewart’s name and learned a bit about his case from Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen during a committee meeting in Washington Tuesday.

Stewart, 19, was shot and killed by Memphis Police Department officer Connor Schilling this summer during a traffic stop. Earlier this month, a Shelby County grand jury declined to to indict Schilling for voluntary manslaughter and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The move brought criticism of the grand jury system and the handling of the case.

During a meeting of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Tuesday, Cohen briefly described the events of the Stewart case to USAG Lynch and offered his own harsh criticism of the system and the way the case was handled.
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Here’s what Cohen said to USAG Lynch on Tuesday:

“[Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich] asked the grand jury to indict on voluntary manslaughter. The grand jury chose not to.

How that was presented? Who knows? Obviously, not as well as a ham sandwich could have been presented.”

Cohen asked Lynch to review the case to see if any civil rights violations had occurred. She said she’d have her staff get information about the case from Cohen.

Here’s their brief conversant on the Stewart case:

Cohen: Are you familiar with the case?

Lynch: I’m not currently familiar with the case. Although, we have a number of similar matters under review.

Cohen: Well, I hope you’ll become familiar because it’s a situation that many people in Memphis, including myself, feel was a miscarriage of justice, equal to any of those other across the United States. For some reason, it hasn’t risen to the radar of the United States Attorney General and I hope it will.

Cohen asked for the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the Stewart case back in July.

At the time, the DOJ said it would monitor the case. Cohen renewed his call for a federal investigation earlier this month.

On Tuesday, he personally asked Lynch for a review of the case. 

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