Friends, family of man killed by Raleigh officer call for DA to pursue criminal charges

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Family and friends of a man shot and killed by Raleigh police earlier this year held a rally Wednesday calling on the district attorney to pursue criminal charges.

“I wanted the DA to follow the facts,” said Mehrdad Mojarrad. “All I wanted is what my son wanted. My son wanted this to be a just world.”

Mojarrad’s son, Soheil, died in April.

As CBS 17 previously reported, his autopsy shows he was shot eight times by a Raleigh police officer at a shopping center on New Bern Avenue on April 20.

Officer W.B. Edwards said Mojarrad had a knife and took an aggressive stance when he fired his gun.

The officer did not activate his body camera. The Raleigh Police Department also says there is no dashboard camera or surveillance video of the incident.

“They are pieces of a puzzle, like any other pieces of evidence in an investigation. And, if you think about it, really not until the last couple of years were these tools even available,” said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting. Freeman said an attorney for the Mojarrad family has been to her office to review the case file. She anticipates in the next couple weeks making a determination about whether to move forward with a criminal case against the officer.

“Regardless of what we determine, ultimately, this family has suffered a great deal,” she said. “At the same time, if the evidence isn’t there or we determine that the use of force was not unlawful, it’s our duty to also say that those officers did nothing wrong.”

The Raleigh Police Department declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Following the shooting, the department changed the body camera policy so that the cameras always record but without audio. Officers still have to activate the cameras to capture both video and audio.

Mojarrad said his son lived with mental illness and suffered a traumatic injury after being hit by a pickup truck in Asheville in 2012.

“Of course, it complicated his mental illness. But, at the depth of his mental illness, he was as loving as loving could be,” Mojarrad said.

He urged the district attorney to “follow the facts” in the case.

“All I wanted is what my son wanted. My son wanted this to be a just world,” he said. “And, I tried to tell him, dude, it’s just not. It’s just not. And, I was wrong. He was right.”

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