No charges will be filed in the death of Justin King, a Black man who was fatally shot by his white neighbor in Missouri last year on Nov. 3.
On Tuesday, an inquest found that King died by justifiable homicide, a finding that his family has disputed. Witnesses and King’s family members deny the narrative from police that King, who was 28 at the time, was shot and killed for trying to invade his neighbor’s home in a trailer park community in Bourbon, about 75 miles southwest of St. Louis. King’s family stated that he had moved to Bourbon from St. Louis to be closer to his daughter, Harlee.
“I fully concur with the finding of the Coroner’s Inquest panel, and I am declining to issue charges related to the death of Mr. King,” Crawford County Prosecuting Attorney David S. Smith said in a statement on Wednesday.
The president of Missouri NAACP, Nimrod Chapel Jr., who is also representing the King family, denounced Smith’s decision in declining to issue charges. “The failure of Crawford County’s prosecutor to bring charges in the murder of Justin King is inexcusable,” Chapel said. “They spent more time trying to figure out and accuse Justin King than they ever spent trying to get behind the motives of what led to Justin King’s death.
Chapel remains dedicated to keeping the case alive and says he believes they will have to seek the attorney general or petition the governor asking for a federal investigation.