The Metropolitan Police Department’s Use of Force Review Board determined the officer who fatally shot Terrence Sterling did not follow protocol and should be terminated, authorities announced on Tuesday December 5, 2017 .
Sterling, an unarmed black man, was fatally shot while racing through the District on a motorcycle in September 2016.
In August, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia determined the officer would not face charges for the fatal shooting.
According to authorities, two MPD officers were stopped at a red light at the intersection of 15th and U streets, NW, at around 4:20 a.m. on September 11, 2016, when Sterling, 31, pulled up briefly beside them on a motorcycle before accelerating through the red light at a “high rate of speed.”
In an attempt to stop Sterling, the officers turned on their lights and siren, but police say Sterling didn’t stop. Witnesses and officers say they observed Sterling “operating his motorcycle at excessive and dangerous speeds—sometimes estimated at 100 miles per hour or more.”
After a brief pursuit, authorities say Sterling stopped at the intersection of Third and M streets, NW, and the officers pulled into the intersection, blocking the lane Sterling was stopped in.
When attempting to arrest Sterling, who was still on his motorcycle at the time, one officer “removed his firearm from the holster, and put it into a tuck position,” before attempting to exit the passenger side of the police cruiser.
Police say during the arrest attempt, Sterling accelerated his motorcycle and rammed into the passenger side of the cruiser, injuring the officer. Then, police say, the officer fired two rounds at Sterling, striking him in his right side and neck.
The officers attempted to perform life-saving measures on Sterling, but were unsuccessful. Sterling was transported to Howard University Hospital, where he later died.
According to toxicology reports, Sterling’s blood alcohol content level during the time of the incident was over two times the legal limit at .16. Police say he also tested positive for THC.
On September 28, 2016, D.C. police released body-camera footage of the fatal shooting.