Agencies: Newark Police Department New Jersey
Last updated: almost 2 years ago
Investigators said that Officer Leaks and his partner, after viewing what was apparently a drug buy on the street by Ms. Daniels, arrested her and a juvenile. A scuffle ensued and an angry crowd gathered, and Officer Leaks was not able to handcuff Ms. Daniels, a 31-year-old pregnant woman. Police said she climbed into the front seat of the patrol car and tried to get away by backing up the car. Officer Leaks, hanging on to the open door of the moving vehicle, shot her in the head.
A grand jury here has cleared a Newark police officer of criminal charges in connection with the shooting in June of a 31-year-old woman during a drug-related arrest that touched off angry protests and charges of a cover-up by law enforcement agencies.
In disclosing the finding by the 23-person grand jury, the Essex County Prosecutor, Clifford J. Minor, ended what he and relatives of the victim called a ''thorough'' two-and-a-half-month investigation of the June 8, 1997 shooting of Dannette Daniels by Officer Robert J. Leaks Jr.
''By declining to indict the officer on any criminal charge, it can be concluded that the jury felt that the force used by Officer Leaks against Dannette Daniels was justified under all of the circumstances,'' Mr. Minor said in a statement.
Relatives of Ms. Daniels said they would seek a Federal grand jury investigation of the incident to determine whether her civil rights were violated, and would also continue to pursue a planned civil suit against the City of Newark.