A grand jury has decided not to indict a police officer who shot and killed a woman as she drove an SUV toward him while fleeing a shoplifting in June, authorities announced Thursday. Sgt. Kevin A. Clements shot LaShanda Anderson, 36, of Philadelphia, as she tried to escape pursuing officers after stealing more than $3,000 in merchandise from a Marshalls store on June 9.
The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office in Southern New Jersey made public their findings on the shooting, as required by the state Attorney General’s office , and said they interviewed civilian and police witnesses, sought and reviewed any available video footage, reviewed ballistics evidence, medical examiner reports and airbag control module data from the SUV, which crashed after the shooting. The results were presented to a grand jury, which declined to indict Clements for his use of force, the prosecutor’s office said.
Clements indicated police were alerted to the shoplifting when a loss prevention associate at Marshalls called 911 to report that three people were trying to leave without paying for merchandise. During the call, he indicated that one of the shoplifters was wanted for a homicide. That information turned out to be incorrect, the prosecutor’s office confirmed Thursday.
The investigation was complicated by the fact Deptford police don’t have body cameras. Both Barnes, 38, and Gadson, 43, were arrested and charged in connection with their roles in the incident. The trio were known to Marshalls staff from prior shoplifting incidents, prosecutors previously noted. [Source: NJ.com]