The family of a man killed in a motorbike crash while being chased by police are carrying out their own investigation and dispute the account given by police, family lawyers have said.
James Herndon died last month after crashing his three-wheeler on Benning Road in northeast DC during the chase that lasted more than an hour.
His wife and lawyers say there is a lack of information in the case. They have yet to see video of the body camera chase and question its legality.
“In violation of general orders from the Metropolitan Police Department, the officers who initiated the pursuit followed James throughout the District of Columbia and into Prince George’s County and then into the District,” attorney Brian McDaniel said. of the Cochran firm.
He said one of the big questions is whether an officer did something that could have caused the accident.
“I would say we definitely think it’s a possibility, yes,” McDaniel said. “That’s how I would call it.”
DC police say officers began the pursuit on the 9the Street NW thinking Herndon was a suspect in a homicide, but called it off when they learned he was just wanted for questioning.
A supervisor ordered his officers to end the chase about an hour after the chase began, but US Park Police continued the chase for an additional 14 minutes, according to DC police.
The family lawyers want to know what happened during those 14 minutes and what happened at the end.
The MPD’s prosecution policy states that an officer may initiate a prosecution if “there are probable grounds to believe that the crime committed or attempted involved an actual or imminent attack which resulted or could have resulted in death or bodily harm. serious; and (1) There are probable grounds to believe that the subject committed or attempted to commit the crime. »
“I’m very frustrated,” Herndon’s wife, Miyauna Herndon, said. “I’m very frustrated; I am very angry.”
“All I know is that he was a good man, a very good man,” she said.
Herndon was found with drugs and a gun when he died, police say.
The United States Park Police do not yet wear body cameras, so there is no video of them from the last 14 minutes of the chase.
The United States Park Police previously said its officers were not informed when DC police decided to end the pursuit.