Terán family seeks evidence regarding the shooting death of the environmental activist

Belkis Terán, left, Daniel Paez, center, and Pedro Terán, family members of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, right, embrace.

Alex Slitz / Alex Slitz

Now that Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Christian has announced that the shooting death of Manuel Terán was “objectively reasonable,” and no charges would be filed against the Georgia State Patrol troopers involved, the family of the 26-year-old environmental activist is asking Georgia authorities to release evidence about Teran’s death.

Authorities say Manuel, also known as Tortuguita, fired the first shot. Terán’s family disputes those claims following an independent autopsy.

On Monday’s edition of “Closer Look,” show host Rose Scott talked with Terán’s mother, Belkis Terán, and her attorney, Jeff Filipovits.

Attorney Filipovits said the Terán family is after the truth about what happened. “What we want is the evidence interviews, the sketches of the scene, the body cams that captured, at least, the initial verbal exchanges,” said Filipovits.

Filipovits says the only justification for evidence not being released is pending RICO charges against other individuals.

“Just because a district attorney decided no criminal charges should be brought does not mean that there’s no viable civil lawsuit,” said Filipovits. “It does not mean there was no violation of the constitution. We simply don’t know and can’t figure that out until it’s released. “

Belkis further explained that she and her family are trying to heal and want to understand what happened.

“As a family, we don’t understand,” said Belkis. “I don’t understand why they were so brutal, so horrible. 57 wounds are too much for a human, for a human who never had any previous police record, nothing. We were always trying to help people.”