We always take time to celebrate when justice prevails and the innocent are freed! This is one of those days. A Baton Rogue man has been released from police custody after the District Attorney failed to find charges against him!
21-year-old Raheem Howard was accused of shooting at a police officer following a traffic stop. District Attorney Hillar Moore III says that there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE to prove Howard committed a crime.
Via The Washington Post:
"Witnesses reported hearing only one gunshot as Baton Rouge Officer Yuseff Hamadeh fired at Howard. An exhaustive search turned up no contrary evidence. Last year, Hamadeh fatally shot a man accused of pointing a weapon at officers during a traffic stop. Neither shooting was recorded on Hamadeh’s body camera."
The Advocate further reports D.A. Moore as saying:
“At this point, I didn’t think there was sufficient evidence. . . That doesn’t mean there will be no charges stemming from this case."
Howard was released from the $90,000 bail set on counts of attempted first-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon but is still being held in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on bench warrants from earlier unrelated cases.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul also announced Tuesday he plans to release the limited footage from the traffic-stop-turned-shooting on Wednesday.
Paul said the department will release audio captured by Hamadeh’s vehicle’s rear camera as well as video recorded by a bystander. No video was captured by the vehicle’s rear camera because it was facing down. No video or audio was recorded on Hamadeh’s body camera or his vehicle's front dash camera because they were turned off during the encounter, Paul said.
"We don't believe that releasing it at this time will interfere (with the ongoing investigations)," Paul said Tuesday. The police chief had previously withheld the footage from the public despite a new policy created to improve transparency following critical incidents involving officers. He said Tuesday that key investigative steps have now been completed.
Hamadeh stopped Howard's car Aug. 7 on North 16th Street over a missing license plate. At that point, Howard ran away, prompting Hamadeh to follow. During the chase, according to police, Howard turned and shot at Hamadeh, who returned fire.
Initial police accounts of the incident said both men fired once.
Howard was arrested days later — and while he admitted fleeing the traffic stop, he was adamant that he never had a gun. Neighbors and witnesses also said they heard only one gunshot.
No one was injured in the shooting.
Raheem now has a serious battle on his hands. The officer clearly lied on him and we feel he's due some compensation!