COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The family of Marquis Rivera -- a man who was killed by police at a Columbia Apartment complex in August -- claim they have been told that charges will not be filed against the Columbia police officers involved.
Marquis Rivera, 22, was shot and killed by Columbia police officers on Aug. 4 after police said Rivera shot into the air and then shot at officers, according to previous reporting.
The case is being reviewed by Callaway County Prosecutor Benjamin Miller, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigating. An MSHP spokesperson previously said on Aug. 7 that the investigation would likely take several months. Miller told ABC 17 News in an email on Wednesday that more information would be released later. Rivera’s family had previously demanded in a letter to see footage of the incident days after it occurred.
The Columbia Police Department told ABC 17 News it will not comment on the status of the investigation, due to pending litigation. The names of the officers involved have not been released.
The family says Rivera called 911 twice saying that he was going to hurt himself and police responded to the first call a little after 3 p.m. Rivera's father, who said he watched bodycam footage of the incident, claims that officers called Rivera's ex-girlfriend and told her that they were going to take Rivera to the hospital.
Rivera allegedly told the officers he still felt like hurting himself until he eventually said he was OK, his family said. Police left Rivera and later called 911 again just before 4 p.m. Family members in August described Rivera as having a mental health crisis.
"When officers responded out to the scene again, the individual was armed with a weapon and started firing shots into the air," Columbia Police Department Assistant Chief Lance Bolinger said on Aug. 4 while at the scene. "A short time later, the subject started directing the gunfire towards officers, at which time officers returned fire at the suspect."
Rivera's family believes the officers on scene were "negligent" when encountering Rivera after both calls.
"Negligence, I mean, somebody in that police department in their county have to pay for that, because if they would have had the proper policies in line, my son would still be alive," Rivera's father Ralph Edwards said. "But when he called back the second time and told them to come out, they still didn't come out with the necessary help for him, which led to his death."
Rivera's family claim officers knew that Rivera had a gun after speaking with his ex-girlfriend on the first call. The family says the officers did not take him to the hospital like they said and believes they coerced Rivera into saying that he was OK.
"After that phone call, the police officer got out the car and coerced my son and to saying that he was OK, you know, he asked my son three times 'So you feel like hurting yourself?' And my son said, all three times, 'Yes.' And he even made a sarcastic statement saying, like, 'I'm the one who called you guys. So you are supposed to give me the help that I need,'" Edwards said.
The family said they intend to sue CPD.