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DC police officer charged with homicide in lethal pursuit of moped driver

A Washington D.C., police officer has been indicted for the homicide of a person on a moped who was fatally struck by a automobile throughout a 2020 chase and conspiring with one other officer to cover the circumstances of the collision, federal prosecutors mentioned.

Officer Terence Sutton, 37, pursued Karon Hylton-Brown, 20, simply after 10 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2020 after he noticed him on a moped with out a helmet on the sidewalk, all visitors violations, authorities mentioned. Through the chase, Sutton reached speeds of greater than double the pace restrict on residential streets and at one level drove the improper means on a one-way avenue, the Justice Department mentioned. 

Hylton was ultimately struck by a civilian automobile in an alley. He sustained extreme head trauma and died two days later. The pursuit appeared to violate the Metropolitan Police Division’s coverage prohibiting chases. Excessive-speed chases are barred over minor visitors offenses. 

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In this Oct. 28, 2020, file photo Washington Metropolitan Police Department police officers push back demonstrators outside of the fourth district police station in Washington. An officer in the nation’s capital has been indicted on a murder charge for his role in a fatal vehicle accident during a police chase that has sparked two days of protests and clashes. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

On this Oct. 28, 2020, file picture Washington Metropolitan Police Division law enforcement officials push again demonstrators outdoors of the fourth district police station in Washington. An officer within the nation’s capital has been indicted on a homicide cost for his position in a deadly automobile accident throughout a police chase that has sparked two days of protests and clashes. (AP Picture/Jose Luis Magana, File)

One other officer, Lt. Andrew Zabavsky, 53, is charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Each officers pleaded not responsible Friday.

Hylton’s loss of life got here after months of nationwide protests calling for police reform following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and sparked two days of demonstrations in Washington. 

Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee mentioned Friday that the division would absolutely cooperate with the U.S. Legal professional’s workplace, noting, “That is the method of accountability.”

Prosecutors allege each officers conspired to cover the occasions that led to Hylton’s loss of life, corresponding to failing to inform superior officers in regards to the seriousness of his accidents. As well as, lower than 21 minutes after the collision, they allegedly deactivated their physique cameras and did not take statements from witnesses on the scene. 

Prosecutors mentioned each officers “supplied a deceptive account of the incident to the Watch Commander,” in line with court docket paperwork.  

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“Sutton denied participating in a vehicular pursuit of Hylton-Brown, Zabavsky withheld all details about his involvement within the incident, and each officers omitted any point out of Hylton-Brown’s critical accidents,” the indictment states. “Due to their deceptive account, no investigation by different MPD elements, together with MCS and IAD, was initiated at the moment.”

Sutton faces as much as 65 years in jail whereas Zabavsky faces 25 years. Each had been launched from police custody Friday. A court docket listening to is scheduled for Oct. 4. 

The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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