A state senator said he will send a letter Friday requesting that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta open an investigation into the fatal shooting of a teenager by a Union City police officer.
State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, made the pledge at a rally Thursday night at an Atlanta church.
Officer Luther Lewis fatally shot Ariston Waiters, 19, in December during a struggle as Lewis tried to handcuff Waiters. Lewis said the teenager had refused three times to take his hand out of his pocket. As the officer got closer, the young man tried to take his gun, he said.
An autopsy showed Waiters was shot twice in the back. That led the Fulton County District Attorney's Office to present the case to a grand jury Wednesday.
After hearing testimony throughout much of the day, the grand jury declined to indict the officer.
Part of the evidence included the teenager's DNA, according to the officer's attorney Al Dixon.
"Ariston Waiters' DNA was on the officer's gun," said Dixon. "And not DNA from blood or splatter or anything like that, but from cell DNA, which means that he had actually grabbed the officer's gun."
At Thursday night's rally, Waiters' mother Freda suggested that someone planted her son's DNA on the gun.
"That was probably placed there," said Waiters. "It (doesn't) even make sense."
Freda Waiters said she felt betrayed by Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, who she said initially told her that her son did nothing wrong. Howard changed his tune, she said, during the grand jury presentation.
"You plotted, you planned, you had no intention of the police officer being indicted," Waiters said.
She said when she testified before the grand jury, she felt as though her late son was on trial.
"They asked me how did I feel when my son got the tattoo across his face?" she said. "My son stole my sister's car when she went on her vacation. They asked about that. Anything (they) could do to demean my son and the family, it was said."
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