RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina prosecutor has decided against filing charges against officers who shot and killed a knife-wielding man. His widow and activists called for more training in de-escalation tactics and non-fatal responses.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Raleigh police officers were justified in fatally shooting Daniel Turcios, who was shot on Interstate 440 after swinging a knife at officers, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said officers responded to 911 calls on Jan. 11 about a traffic accident along Interstate 440, and encountered Turcios holding a knife while carrying an infant. An older son was injured in the wreck, and Turcios’ wife ultimately took the child to safety.
“Witnesses and the scene showed evidence of reckless driving that endangered the public by Mr. Turcios,” Freeman said. “Mr. Turcios was acting erratically, wielding a knife and refusing to follow officer commands even as additional civilians on scene pleaded with him in Spanish to do so.”
The chief said officers used an stun gun in an attempt to subdue him, but Turcios refused commands to drop the knife, and one of the officers shot him as he swung the knife toward them.
The prosecutor said she met with Turcios’ widow, Rosa Jerez, before releasing her review Wednesday evening.
Turcios’ widow, Rosa Jerez said police could have done a better job of defusing the situation, considering that her husband was heavily disoriented by the crash and did not speak English well.
“Where is their training?” Jerez said in Spanish at a February protest. “Why didn’t they give me a chance and tell me, ‘Ma’am, control your husband. We’re going to shoot him.’ They didn’t tell me anything … they left me alone with my children.”