Grand Jury Testimony Ends, No Decision In Police Shooting Case - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/02/03 - Tyler

Grand Jury Testimony Ends, No Decision In Police Shooting Case

The three men: Tawakini Jones, Terrence Black, and Kendrick Williams showed up at the courthouse early. Through the day they waited, as the events of July 31st were reviewed.

The three claim police acted inappropriately.

At the Grand Manor Apartments, bicycle officers tried to stop Terence Raibon, as they suspected drug activity. Two of Thursday's witnesses - Jones and Black - were also stopped nearby. They say after the shots started, Raibon fell wounded just yards away.

A grand jury cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, but in a statement to media, Tawakini Jones tells a far different story.

He says after Raibon fell, "[An officer] said 'Kick him and see if he's dead.' By this time, [Officer Billy] Yates fired into his back, then kicked him in the head, and handcuffed him."

Witnesses Jones and Black spoke a similar story, though there was some disagreement about which officer they believe fired a fatal shot. The two came forward after speaking to Lesly Gatheright, who says this process of deciding truth has taken too long.

"In America, we have a justice system that should be handled in an orderly and proper manner," he said.

Police Chief Gary Swindle said Wednesday he doesn't believe the statements to media to be credible.

"The ballistics, the officer's statements, [and] the other citizens statements in the complex that night, pretty much discounts anything these two individuals have been saying," Swindle said.

All three new witnesses, including Kendrick Williams, have criminal histories.

Williams came to police after the shootout, but his testimony was never heard by the grand jury. The omission of Williams from the original witness list has led to the departure of Assistant District Attorney Jim Huggler.

Now, as the three new stories are told, the FBI is launching it's own investigation of the facts that could take some time. The results will be forwarded to the Department of Justice.

Morgan Palmer, reporting.

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