MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The District Court dismissed the City of Memphis from the Darrius Stewart case on Friday, releasing the City from all civil charges.
Stewart was shot and killed by officer Connor Schilling in 2015 during a traffic stop in Hickory Hill where Stewart was the passenger. The civil case against Schilling will still go on.
“Although, the Court found no wrongdoing on behalf of the City, this is a victory for no one,” Chief Legal Officer Bruce McMullen said in a statement. “The death of Darrius Stewart in July 2015 was a life-altering tragedy. Unfortunately, the past cannot be changed, but we hope and pray for the families involved, and the Memphis community as a whole.”
A jury declined a criminal case against Schilling, and Stewart’s mother filed a civil lawsuit against the City, Schilling and former MPD chief Toney Armstrong. Schilling also motioned to be dismissed from the case, but the federal judge denied that.
Lawyers for Stewart’s father, Henry Williams, released a statement on his behalf, saying Williams was disappointed that the City will not be a defendant in the case, but he is still pleased that Schilling will still stand trial.
“The fact remains that one person and one person only shot and killed Darrius Stewart and that person’s name is Connor Schilling,” the statement read. “Connor Schilling will finally stand trial and Mr. Williams is pleased that the judge did not exonerate former officer Schilling for his heinous acts.”
Lawyers also said Williams has not decided yet if he will appeal Friday’s decision.
The trial starts Feb. 25 and should last about two weeks.