Atlantic City residents react to grand jury's decision not to in - NBC40.net

Atlantic City residents react to grand jury's decision not to indict officer

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ATLANTIC CITY -

An Atlantic City Police Officer has been cleared by a grand jury in the shooting death of 18-year-old Derreck Mack.

Despite the evidence given Thursday, some Atlantic City residents still say they are furious with the grand jury's decision not to indict the officer.

"I think it's an absolute injustice that they killed a little boy and got away with it," said Atlantic City resident, Mitchelle Harris.  Another resident, April Cottman, told NBC40, "It's not safe around here for my kids.  It's wrong.  It's dead wrong."

Derreck Mack's family has been notified of the investigation's findings and the grand jury's determination.

Back on the afternoon of December 17th, Derrek Mack was shot and killed by an Atlantic City Police Officer during a foot chase.  The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office investigated the shooting and presented the results to a grand jury on Thursday.

Acting Atlantic City Prosecutor, Jim McClain, explained, "The officer also observed Mack participate in what he believed to be a hand to hand drug transaction."

Officials say when detectives approached Mack, who was with 24-year-old Terry Davis, the two ran.  Police followed and during the chase Mack appeared to have fallen.  When he got up, police say he had a gun in his hand as he fled.  Police witnessed Mack slow down and begin to turn while raising just his left hand.  His right hand, the hand police say they saw holding the gun, was still at his waist.  The police officer, fearing for his life fired three shots, two of which hit Mack.

McClain said, "As the expert indicated in his report and in his testimony before the grand jury, this officer had less than a third of a second to make a life-or-death decision.  He continued, "This case illustrates, I think, the very difficult choices that police officers are faced with."

A .45 semi-automatic handgun was recovered 5 feet from where Mack fell.  McClain noted, "The grand jury heard the evidence and they ruled that the officer's use of force under these circumstances was lawful."

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