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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Concludes Investigation Into Fatal Shooting in Southwest Washington

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
No Charges to Be Filed Against Metropolitan Police Department Officers

            WASHINGTON - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced today that there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or District of Columbia charges against two officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) who were involved in the fatal shooting, in April 2021, of Terrance Parker in Southwest Washington.

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) conducted a comprehensive review of the incident. This included interviews of civilian and law enforcement witnesses as well as a review of physical evidence, recorded radio communications, Body Worn Camera footage, medical reports, and reports from the Metropolitan Police Department.

            According to the evidence, on April 30, 2021, at approximately 8:56 p.m., two MPD officers received a radio assignment to respond to a domestic assault in progress at an apartment in the 1100 block of 4th Street SW. The officers were working the evening tour of duty, in full uniform, and equipped with Body Worn Cameras. Upon arrival at the apartment, they paused briefly to listen for any sounds of distress or commotion. Hearing nothing, one officer knocked and announced “MPD.” A woman opened the apartment door, and immediately stated “get this bitch out my house,” as she turned and walked into a bedroom doorway that was located immediately to the right of the apartment door. The officers entered the apartment and directed their attention to the bedroom and observed Mr. Parker leaning across a mattress on his right side with his legs on the floor while holding a cell phone. The woman was standing next to Mr. Parker and neither responded to the officers as they inquired “what’s going on?”

            The officers then attempted to separate the two parties. One of the officers observed Mr. Parker pulling his right hand from his side, and asked “what do you have there?” Mr. Parker then suddenly pulled his right hand from his side and produced a handgun. Mr. Parker pulled the handgun up and pointed it in the direction of the officers. They immediately yelled “gun” several times and drew their service weapons. One officer then discharged a service weapon, striking Mr. Parker three times. The other officer did not discharge a weapon.

            After securing the scene, the officers attempted to render medical aid, as did additional officers who responded. Members of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department subsequently transported Mr. Parker to a hospital. Mr. Parker was pronounced dead at 10:05 p.m.

            The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland determined that Mr. Parker, 36, died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Mr. Parker also had graze wounds to the fingers on his left hand and left thigh.

            After a careful, thorough, and independent review of the evidence, federal prosecutors have found insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers used excessive force under the circumstances.

Use-of-force investigations generally

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office reviews all police-involved fatalities to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to conclude that any officers violated either federal criminal civil rights laws or District of Columbia law.  To prove such violations, prosecutors must typically be able to prove that the involved officers willfully used more force than was reasonably necessary.  Proving “willfulness” is a heavy burden.  Prosecutors must not only prove that the force used was excessive, but must also prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids. 

            The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains committed to investigating allegations of excessive force by law enforcement officers and will continue to devote the resources necessary to ensure that all allegations of serious civil rights violations are investigated fully and completely. The Metropolitan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all police-involved fatalities in the District of Columbia.

Updated October 29, 2021