A Lafayette Parish grand jury on Thursday declined to indict a Lafayette police officer in the shooting of a 24-year-old Lafayette man who police said refused commands to drop his gun as he ran away from officers seeking a different person on a drunken driving warrant.
The officer, identified as Cpl. Dwight Huval in the grand jury bill, returned to work at the Lafayette Police Department two weeks ago after he was placed on administrative leave because of the Sept. 12 shooting, said Cpl. Paul Mouton, Lafayette Police Department spokesman.
Huval — a five-year officer in Lafayette — worked desk duty ahead of the grand jury proceedings but is expected to return to full duty now that he’s been cleared, Mouton said.
The shooting of Tevin Lewis, who survived his injuries, sparked a protest outside the Police Department headquarters on University Avenue when witnesses said Lewis had been shot in the back while running away.
The Lafayette NAACP chapter further demanded the release of private surveillance video seized in the investigation — the only footage that captured the incident — and reiterated its long-standing opposition to the Lafayette Police Department investigating its own officer-involved shootings.
An NAACP representative was not immediately available Friday for comment.
Although the grand jury proceedings are secret, the video of the incident is now public record.
Initial information in the shooting, as released by the Lafayette Police Department three hours after it happened, stated officers that night went to a house in the 100 block of Sonny Street to arrest a man wanted in city court on OWI. Of the five men standing in front of the house, one of them — Lewis — ran from the officers.
According to police, Huval said he saw a pistol in Lewis’ possession and ordered him to drop it. When Lewis didn’t comply, police said, Huval fired at least twice and struck him. Police said they found a semi-automatic handgun tied to Lewis.
Lewis was released from the hospital a few days later and booked into the Lafayette Parish jail on counts of resisting an officer, possession of a firearm as a felon and illegal carrying of weapons. He has not been charged on those counts.
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