Justice Dept. finds insufficient evidence in fatal 2009 Park Police shooting

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 28, 2011; 11:41 PM

The Justice Department said Friday that it has found insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges in a controversial 2009 fatal shooting by police in the Trinidad section.

Trey Joyner, 24, of the District, was shot by a U.S. Park Police officer June 8, 2009, during a struggle in an alley in the 1200 block of Holbrook Street NE, authorities said.

The U.S. attorney's office in Washington began an investigation but turned the matter over to the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia after questions arose about the independence of the inquiry.

In a statement Friday, the Justice Department said a review "determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the law enforcement personnel who fired at Mr. Joyner acted willfully, meaning with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids." Thus, the department said, "the investigation into this incident has been closed without prosecution."

Trey Joyner's mother, Brenda Joyner, voiced disappointment. "My concern is justice," she said. "We are still looking for justice."

She said she had been kept out of the federal investigation and met with the investigators for the first time on Friday.

"We did not get the truth," she said. What the family was told "didn't make any sense."

In its statement Justice said Park Police detectives were trying to question Trey Joyner about a homicide investigation and had information that he was armed. After halting his vehicle, Joyner fled but retrieved a handgun that fell as he got out. As he did a detective ran to him and grabbed him. A struggle ensued,Justice said.

Autopsy information contrasted with some civilian witness statements that Joyner was shot in the back as he fled, Justice said.

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