Black residents of Monroe were shocked today when they learned that a grand jury returned a “No true bill” against five police officers who killed William Henderson in August.
The grand jury heard testimony this week and concluded that no laws were broken in the incident that resulted in Henderson being shot 17 times by five officers.
Black citizens hoped that Henderson would receive what they called “justice” in the grand jury process, but many are now frustrated because yet another Black citizen has been killed by white police officers with no apparent logical reason.
The officers were: Micheal Todd Willis, Joseph C. Hawkins, Christopher Moore, John Drew, and Thomas Morgan Cannon.
Mayor Mayo held a press conference at city hall today to announce that in view of the decision of the grand jury three of the officers will return to work, one is a reserve officer and a fifth has chosen to resign.
Mayo dodged questions about whether he felt justice was done. He also dodged direct questions as to whether the officers would once again be allowed to patrol the Black community.
He said no extra precautions have been taken in the Black community to insure calm and he does not expect any unrest.
He offered sympathy to the Henderson family but said his job was to insure that the judicial process was followed.
Mayo thanked several ministers for standing with him, including The Reverend James B. Johnson, Andrew Mansfield, and Vance Price, in addition to the pastor of the Jesus the Good Shepherd Church and the Pine Grove Baptist Church.
The grand jury was composed of 8 blacks and four whites. However, it took nine votes to indict the officers. Without nine votes the grand jury had to return a no-true bill.