WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — New, dramatic video from the West Memphis Police Department shows the first images from the night two people ended up dead and one officer critically injured in a dramatic chase and shooting.
A grand jury cleared the officers, deciding not to bring charges for killing the suspects, identified by police as South Carolina natives Megan Rivera, 22, and De’Angelo Brown, 30.
WREG reached Brown’s sister in South Carolina with the news that there would be no charges against the officers.
“It was just too much force that was taken,” Tierra Clyburn said. “For them not to get no type of punishment, it makes them think they can do whatever they want to do.”
Back in January, West Memphis police said they tried to pull over the couple’s Toyota because it didn’t dim its high beams. Then they realized it didn’t have plates, but the car wouldn’t stop.
“The pursuit went all over the city. Lasted 10 or 12 minutes,” West Memphis Police Assistant Chief Robert Langston said.
Police say the pair had carjacked the Toyota from a 72-year-old woman in South Carolina.
The video showed the moments when the chase eventually came to an end as the Toyota crashed into a patrol car near homes near the intersection of McAuley Drive and 18th Street.
Officers tried desperately to get the two suspects out of the car by smashing windows and surrounding them, but they kept driving, running over one of the officers’ legs.
Then at least 20 shots ring out.
Video shows one of the suspects still alive in the car, raising his arms to surrender.
Police said they called for an ambulance but neither suspect survived.
Arkansas State Police investigated and the six officers involved were relieved of duty with pay during the investigation.
“When you have a force of 87 people and you take six off a shift, it’s a great strain to the police department and the city,” Langston said.
Meanwhile, officials say the critically injured officer still needs multiple surgeries on his legs. They don’t know if he’ll ever work again.
West Memphis officials say their internal affairs department is still evaluating whether all the officers followed policy in this situation. They didn’t have a timetable for when that investigation would finish.