Ohio Officer Acquitted of Killing Mom Holding Baby
Ohio jurors acquit white police officer in shooting death of unarmed black woman holding baby
By JOHN SEEWER Associated Press Writer
LIMA, Ohio August 4, 2008 (AP)
Lima police Sgt. Joe Chavalia sits in court Monday, Aug. 4, 2008, during the fifth day of his trial...
Lima police Sgt. Joe Chavalia sits in court Monday, Aug. 4, 2008, during the fifth day of his trial in Allen County Common Pleas Court in Lima, Ohio. The jury found Chavalia not guilty on misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and negligent assault in the drug-raid shooting death of an unarmed woman who was holding a child.
A white police officer was acquitted Monday in the drug-raid shooting death of an unarmed black woman that set off protests about how police treat minorities in a city where one in four residents is black.
The all-white jury found Sgt. Joseph Chavalia not guilty of misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and negligent assault. He had faced up to eight months in jail if convicted of both counts.
Chavalia shot 26-year-old Tarika Wilson and her year-old son she was holding, killing her and hitting him in the shoulder and hand, during a Jan. 4 SWAT raid on her house. One of the child's fingers had to be amputated.
Officers had been looking for Wilson's boyfriend, a suspected drug dealer.
Chavalia left the courthouse with his family and declined to comment to reporters. Jurors also left the court without commenting, escorted by sheriff's deputies.
"I'm not saying he went up there to kill her," Austin said.
Prosecutors said Chavalia recklessly fired three shots into a bedroom where Wilson and her six children were gathered, even though he could not clearly see her or whether she had a weapon.
"He couldn't tell Tarika had a child in her arms," Prosecutor Jeffrey Strausbaugh said during closing arguments Monday.
Chavalia, an officer of 32-years, had testified that he thought his life was in danger when he fired the shots. He said he saw a shadow coming from behind a partially open bedroom door and heard gunshots that he thought were aimed at him. It turned out the gunfire he heard was coming from downstairs, where officers shot two charging pit bulls.
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If you want your children to live, leave the US.
Muslims are the new Blacks.