Reactions Mixed On Raibon Grand Jury Decision - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/17/03 - Tyler

Reactions Mixed On Raibon Grand Jury Decision

Tyler police were justified in shooting Terence Raibon. That's what the Smith County Grand Jury concluded yesterday. Today, the police chief, the district attorney, and a family representative all spoke out about the results. And as we found out, they still don't all see eye to eye.

On July 31, Terence Raibon was shot and killed by Tyler Police Officers at the Grand Manor Apartments. The incident stemmed from a drug deal gone bad that included Raibon shooting and wounding Yyler Police Officer Kenneth Gardner. The grand jury decided four other officers on the scene were justified in using deadly force against Raibon to protect their lives. The case was re-opened a month later when new witnesses surfaced, telling a different story that included officers beating Raibon, and shooting him in the back at close range. Yesterday, the grand jury closed the case by once again clearing all four officers. Today, Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle talked about the results.

"We're satisfied with the results," said Swindle.  "We thank the grand jury for going through this extra effort. Mr. Skeen did an outstanding job. We're very satisfied. This is what we said all along and we're ready, and I know the officers are ready to put it behind us."

Not so fast, says Raibon family advisor and investigator Lesly Gatheright. He isn't happy with the results of the grand jury, and has a list of 20 concerns he has presented to the FBI for their investigation, and feels this issue is far from over.

"This case is full steam ahead by virtue of the FBI investigation," said Gatheright, "the U.S. Justice Department and I am seeking independent review of this case, end to end."

As for the FBI, District Attorney, Jack Skeen says he is confident they will come to the same conclusion as the grand jury.

"I think anybody that looks at all of the legitimate, credible evidence in the case," said Skeen, "and the scientific evidence from the pathologists and the ballistics, you would come to the conclusion, along with the officers testimony, that the shooting was justified."

The FBI opened its investigation into the Raibon shooting October 1.  An agent from Dallas has been in Tyler all week interviewing witnesses. No timetable has been set for the conclusion of its investigation.

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