Two police officers involved in an October 2020 pursuit that killed a young black man riding a moped in Washington, DC, were convicted Wednesday of his death.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, Constable Terence Sutton and Lt. Andrew Zabavsky attempted a traffic stop in October 2020 after seeing 20-year-old Karon Hylton-Brown ride his moped down a sidewalk without a helmet. The moped entered an alley and then collided with a van as it turned into a street.
Sutton and Zebavsky have been suspended pending the outcome of the trial, which began Oct. 25. The jury found Sutton guilty of second degree murder, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and Zabavsky was found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
The verdict marks the first time an on-duty District of Columbia police officer has been charged and convicted of murder, according to NBC Washington. Sutton and Zebavsky have been released pending sentencing, which has yet to be set.
According to a press release, the jury found that Sutton drove the police car “in conscious disregard of an extreme risk of death or serious bodily harm to Mr. Hylton-Brown” and that the two officers had attempted to conceal the circumstances of the traffic accident. Metropolitan Police Department officials.
The officers were charged in September 2021. The indictment also said that in pursuing Hylton-Brown, the officers violated MPD rules that prohibit “pursuing a vehicle for the purpose of affecting a stop for a traffic offense”.
Officers classified Hylton-Brown’s death as a fatal accident, according to NBC Washington, but his friends and family said the police who pursued him were responsible for the crash.
His death sparked unrest in Washington as protests continued for days, with community members joining Hylton-Brown’s family as they demanded answers and justice. The protests mirrored the movement of protests against police killings of black Americans that reached a national boiling point in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.