Former Greensboro Police Officer Matthew Hamilton was charged with manslaughter on June 6 for fatally shooting Joseph Lopez on Nov. 19, 2021.
Hamilton’s attorney, Amiel Rossabi, has now filed a “Motion to Dismiss, Or, In the Alternative, Motion for New Grand Jury Presentment.”
Hamilton was indicted by the grand jury on June 6. The case had been scheduled to be heard by the grand jury on May16 but was withdrawn.
The motion states, “For some reason that is not fully clear at this time, District Attorney Crump decided to withdraw the bill of indictment against Officer Hamilton from the May 16, 2022 Grand Jury docket. Upon information and belief, some of the reasons for District Attorney Crump withdrawing the bill of indictment were communications to her from the GPD [Greensboro Police Department] that (a) the presentment was inappropriate, politically motivated and would negatively affect the morale of the officers in the GPD; and (b) if the presentment was to be made, Officer Hamilton wished to present evidence to the Grand Jury.”
The motion notes that Hamilton was not notified by the district attorney’s office that his case was being presented to the grand jury on June 6 and that if Hamilton had been notified he would have exercised his statutory rights to apply to present witnesses to testify on his behalf.
The motion states, “In addition to the District Attorney surreptitiously and without notice presenting Officer Hamilton to the Grand Jury on June 6, 2022, an Assistant District Attorney, Kelly Thompson, has been inappropriately commenting about this case.”
According to the motion, Thompson’s statements were “false, inflammatory and biased for many reasons.”
The motion states that the State Bureau of Investigation report did not conclude that there were violations of the law and states, “If there were any violations of the law, upon information and belief, such violations would have been made known to Chief Brian James in March of 2022. No such communication was ever made to Chief Brian James.”
The motion lists James as a possible witness for Hamilton if Hamilton had been allowed to present witnesses at the grand jury hearing, along with other officers who were present on Nov. 19, 2021, when the shooting took place.