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No prosecution for La. deputies in fatal 2016 shooting

Officials "determined it (the shooting) did not involve a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statute"

By Kevin McGill 
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Two Louisiana sheriff's deputies won't face prosecution in the shooting death of a man they pursued from a suburb into New Orleans last year, state and federal officials said Thursday.

The FBI office and Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's Office each issued statements saying there would be no criminal charges in the death of 22-year-old Eric Harris.

Both said the decision was made after attorneys reviewed an investigation by the FBI-led Greater New Orleans Civil Rights Task Force.

The statement from Special Agent Jeffrey Sallet, who heads the New Orleans FBI office, said career attorneys in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Orleans "determined it (the shooting) did not involve a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statute."

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman issued a similar statement.

Jefferson Parish deputies said they chased Harris because he pointed a gun at people at a mall.

Harris was black. Authorities last year said the two deputies — one white and one black — told investigators they shot because they feared for their safety when Harris put his car in reverse.

The shooting sparked protests.

One in July coincided with protests in Baton Rouge over the videotaped fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling. The New Orleans protest began on a side street where Harris was shot and included a march by more than 150 people to a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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