Despite massive uproar and civil protest over the 2020 fatal police shooting of Trayford Pellerin in Louisiana, the Lafayette Grand Jury will not file charges against officers. Lafayette District Attorney Don Landry made the announcement Tuesday. Landry blamed illegal drugs for the incident, not officers, claiming prosectors did “an excellent job” presenting the case.
No Charges Filed in 2020 Fatal Police Shooting of Trayford Pellerin
“The decision to prosecute must remain unencumbered by emotional or political agendas, especially in these troubled time in our country,” Landry said, reported KATC 3.
Landry said Pellerin tested positive for methamphetamine, THC and nicotine the night of the shooting. His office conducted its own investigation, stating the facts remained undisputed, reported KATC 3. He called the fatal shooting a tragedy, one that effected the entire community. He compared officers’ duty to his time in the Marine Corps.
“We train to deal with death in the Marine Corps, because it is a workplace reality in that profession that Marines will die,” Landry said, reported KATC 3. “However, I never had a job like these officers have to keep this community safe.”
Landry further stated officers endure high levels of danger performing their duties, reported KATC 3. He explained the officers’ action stopped further escalation of violence.
“The officers in this case responded to a dangerous situation,” he said, reported KATC 3. “I think it is very clear that the officers in this matter have been severely impacted by the event took place.”
District Attorney Backs Officers
Footage shows an officer attempt several times to get Pellerin to submit. But the suspect, armed with a knife, refused and continued attempting to flee. A Taser attempt failed to stop Pellerin. Then the suspect finally arrived at a gas station, and officers fatally shot him.
“Trayford Pellerin could have dropped the knife, and he would have lived,” Landry said, reported KATC 3. “These officers went above and beyond the requirements of the use of deadly force in this case.”
Cell phone footage of part of the incident led to widespread protest over the fatal shooting. With the ruling came released body cam footage of the entire incident, leaving many still upset. The family continues to demand for justice over the shooting.
“We need justice, transparency, accountability, because anyone who’s seen the video could know it is blatant murder,” said Cederick Pellerin, the suspect’s father, reported KATC 3. “It’s overkill as well.”