LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The family of a Louisville man shot and killed by a U.S. Marshal last year honored his memory on Monday as they called for a federal investigation into his death.
Omari Cryer, 25, was killed in the Chickasaw neighborhood in west Louisville last May. He was shot twice after fleeing from an apartment when a joint task force involving Louisville Metro Police and the U.S. Marshals Office went to arrest him on a warrant.
Cryer's family released balloons at the Greenwood Boat Docks on Monday, and asked for transparency from Louisville Metro Police in his death.
"We have little to no answers, several attempts to reach people who can bring about policy changes and accountability and transparency has yet to be passed along," said Nisha Jamison, Cryer's cousin. "They took a piece of our family away."
March 13 was Cryer's birthday. His family held the balloon release where Cryer liked playing kickball.
"We would have spent the weekend with him celebrating," Jamison said. "We would have never thought last year's birthday celebration would be the last one."
Cryer was wanted on charges related to domestic violence, including assault and strangulation. He ran from officers and fell after jumping over a fence. Police said Cryer grabbed a gun from his waistband.
LMPD said its officers didn't fire their weapons during the shooting. In body camera footage released last year, the shooter is not seen on camera. LMPD said the body camera footage was edited and faces of U.S. Marshal deputies blurred at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service and federal law.
LMPD's Public Integrity Unit was asked to investigate the shooting, even though its officers were involved. That's because authorities said a U.S. Marshal fired the shot that killed Cryer.
Monday, Cryer's family said the prosecutor declined to press charges in the case. They now want the Department of Justice to step in, much like they did in Breonna Taylor's case.
"Department of Justice, don't stop there. Look at the case of Omari Cryer," said Jamison. "There's still wrongdoing, still no accountability and we deserve better as citizens of this city, as citizens of the United States, we deserve better. So our family is demanding justice."
Last week, the DOJ released the results of an investigation into LMPD, slamming the department for a pattern and practice of excessive force, discriminating against Black people, problems with unlawful or invalid search warrants, even improperly investigating issues of domestic abuse. Now, Cryer's family believes all of those issues could have led to him dying at the hands of law enforcement.
"We hope and pray that this doesn't fall on deaf ears. May our community see that we have a long way to go," Jamison said.
WDRB News reached out to the prosecutor's office in regards to the Cryer case, and a number of police shootings in Louisville. A spokesperson sent a statement back in response that said the officers "acted within the law." WDRB is now working to obtain the full investigative files.
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