Because of the police related deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner the family attorney for Mark Barmore is asking that the Department of Justice look into his 2009 shooting death by Rockford police.
Two Rockford officers chased Barmore, who was wanted for assault, into the basement of a Church and day-care. It is the contention of officers that in the basement Barmore attempted to grab one of their guns, that is when both officers fired killing Barmore. One of the daycare’s operators claimed that Barmore had his hands up and surrendering when he was killed. That witness refused to testify before a grand jury that investigated that matter. Neither officer was charged. And because it unfortunately has to be stated Barmore was African-American both officers where white.
The city of Rockford, the day prior, to the Barmore families attorney’s plea for a federal investigation into the 5 year old shooting agreed to pay Barmore’s family $1.1 million to settle a civil lawsuit.
The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department already looked into the case in 2012 and ruled in favor of the officers and closed the case.
WREX has more:
The attorney for Mark Anthony Barmore’s family has called for a federal review of the evidence in the case a day after the Rockford City Council approved a $1.1 million settlement with the family.
“This was a tragedy that could and should have been avoided and resulted in yet another death of a young, unarmed man at the hands of police officers,” said Larry Rogers, Jr., the family’s attorney
Rogers said in a statement to 13 News, “In addition to the tragic and unnecessary death of unarmed Mark Barmore, this occurrence, like that involving the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York calls into question the way in which local prosecutors use, or some would say “misuse” grand juries. In the case of Mark Barmore, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato presented the facts surrounding the shooting of Mark Barrnore before a Winnebago grand jury, without presenting Marissa Brown, the primary eyewitness to the shooting who consistently stated that Mark was shot while his hands were up. If the grand jury was truly being asked to determine whether criminal charges were warranted, how could Mr. Bruscato properly present the case without the live testimony of the primary eyewitness?”
Bruscato told 13 News Brown was subpoenaed to appear and she did not. The hearing lasted one day, the prosecutor noted.