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Probe of California police shooting turned over to DA's office

miller
Authorities say Miller was shot a dozen times by four police officers  

March 27, 1999
Web posted at: 12:39 a.m. EST (0539 GMT)

RIVERSIDE, California (CNN)-- An internal investigation into the police shooting death of a California teen has been turned over to the Riverside District Attorney's office to help determine whether criminal charges should be filed against the officers.

Riverside authorities are investigating whether police used excessive force in the death of 19-year-old Tyisha Miller, who was shot more than a dozen times as she sat in her car following a 911 distress call last December.

Riverside District Attorney spokesman Mike Soccio told CNN Friday the report will be used as part of a grand jury investigation into the shooting of 19-year-old Tyisha Miller.

A decision could take several more weeks, Soccio said.

The shooting sparked national protests by civil rights organizations who called the shooting racially motivated. Miller was black and the four officers, including a sergeant, on the scene are white.

"The results of the investigation fill two black binders and include 1,500 pages of documents," said Riverside Police Chief Jerry Carroll. "In all, a total of 31 Riverside police officers spent more than 1,500 hours on the investigation interviewing 31 civilians, six police officers and amassed 58 pieces of evidence."

Hundreds of demonstrators last month protested the police investigation and criticized the department for taking nearly three months to issue its findings.

At last month's rally, Rev. Jesse Jackson asked for President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno to prosecute the four officers on federal civil rights charges.

"We all would have liked to have finished this investigation sooner but given the nature of the incident and the necessary involvement of outside agencies, a faster schedule simply wasn't possible," Police Chief Carroll said.

Meanwhile, former O.J. Simpson criminal attorney Johnnie Cochran, who represents the parents of Tyisha Miller, filed a civil wrongful death claim Wednesday against the City of Riverside.

Riverside Police declined to comment on the civil lawsuit.


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Coroner: Woman killed by police shot 12 times
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