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Grand jury won't indict officer who shot teen

Associated Press
Published August 18, 2005

WEST PALM BEACH - A grand jury on Wednesday declined to indict a rookie police officer who shot and killed a teenager on a school campus in February.

After a public inquest, A judge recommended that Darren Cogoni be charged with manslaughter, but Palm Beach County state attorney Barry Krischer instead decided to present the case to a grand jury.

The decision not to charge Cogoni outraged the family and supporters of 16-year-old Jerrod Miller.

Cogoni, 23, had finished police training three weeks before he fired on Miller after the teen drove onto campus for a school dance Feb. 26.

Cogoni asked to see Miller's driver license, and the teenager, who did not have one, drove off erratically, scattering students gathered outside the school gym, according to witnesses. He had turned away from the gym when Cogoni fired his weapon, hitting Miller in the back of the head. Cogoni is white; Miller was black.

Krischer said the evidence presented to the grand jury did not support a criminal charge.

Cogoni will not return to his job at the Delray Beach police department. The city announced after the grand jury ruling that he was fired.

[Last modified August 18, 2005, 01:04:14]

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