King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced Tuesday that he would not file charges against two Seattle Police Department officers who shot and killed Che Taylor in February 2016.
The decision brought swift outcry from the Seattle King County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which said in a statement that it was disappointed, but not surprised.
“It proves what we’ve known all along: that our criminal justice system is set-up to protect police officers, even when it comes at the expense of protecting the community,” the statement read.
Satterberg based his decision on the results of an juror inquest from earlier in February. The jury found that the two officers had “acted in good faith and perceived their lives were in danger,” according to The Seattle Times.
Washington law makes it nearly impossible to charge police in officer-related deadly shootings because it requires that prosecutors find that the officers acted with “malice,” a high bar.
Che Taylor’s brother, Andrè Taylor, has worked to change that law through weekly meetings of Not This Time. The group encourages support for I-873, which would remove the malice clause from Washington State law, a change Satterberg has said he would support.