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DA - No Charges Will Be Filed in Police Shooting of Jai Williams In Asheville

Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams announced Thursday there will be no charges filed against the Asheville police officer who shot and killed Jai Williams at the Dearview Apartments on July 2nd.  Todd Williams said  Sergeant Tyler Radford was 'justified' in shooting Jai Williams, who reportedly had been firing a rifle from his vehicle at the Pisgah View Apartments and leading police on a high speed chase prior to the shooting.  His death came as the national debate over police-involved shooting deaths of black men was reaching a fever pitch.  Radford is white while Jai Williams was black.

Investigators say Radford shot Jai Williams as he grabbed a rifle in the back seat of his car.  The officer fired nine shots.  The rifle recovered from Jai Williams vehicle is listed as a Bushmaster Model XM15-E25.  The District Attorney's office released details of interviews with two women who were in the car with Jai Williams at the time of the chase and shooting.  One of the women said the officer "was not in the wrong...because (Williams) had three people's lives in danger."  The other woman in the car is described as Williams girlfriend.  Her one-year-old son was also in the car.  She told investigators Williams was "facing the police officer, he picked the gun up like he was going to shoot or something."  Two other eyewitnesses were interviewed.  One of them had recorded a cell phone video where she said an officer can be heard saying "Don't move.  Keep your hands up.  Keep your hands up."

Jai Williams mother told the Asheville Citizen-Times she's "totally devastated" that no charges will be filed.  Rallies were held in the days and weeks after the shooting, focusing on the use of force by police officers.  The Asheville Police Department recently posted revisions to its use of force policies on the department's website.  Residents are encouraged to comment on the policies.