MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich and former Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong had to testify Tuesday in the death of 19-year-old Darrius Stewart. The two were deposed as part of a $17 million lawsuit the Stewart family filed against the city.
Stewart was shot in 2015 in Hickory Hill by former Memphis police officer Connor Schilling.
On her way into the deposition, Weirich said, “I’m here to answer questions and that's what I'll do.”
Stewart was shot and killed by Schilling during a routine traffic stop. Cell phone video caught the two tussling on the ground before being shot. Schilling says Stewart was in the back of his squad car when Stewart kicked open the door and attacked Schilling.
Lawyers for the Stewart family also questioned former Police Director Toney Armstrong about department policies and procedures.
“We’re looking at some other policies, that kind of, how it is Darrius was able to get out of the car in the first place. That's what we are kind of focusing on right now,” said Murray Wells, co-counsel for the Stewart family.
After a state investigation, Weirich recommended Schilling be charged with voluntary manslaughter. After Weirich's deposition, one lawyer for the Stewart family said it was very productive.
“We learned not only did she feel she had probable cause that Connor Schilling committed a crime, but she also felt she could carry her burden beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court before a jury,” said Carlos Moore, co-counsel for Stewart family.
Despite Weirich's recommendation, a grand jury chose not to indict Schilling.
“That still puzzles me to this day, because the general feeling across America is you can indict a ham sandwich,” said Moore.
The civil trial is scheduled for August.