Family still looking for answers nearly 1 year after Omari Cryer was shot, killed by US Marshal

Omari Cryer family looking for answers 1 year after he was shot, killed by federal marshal
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 11:13 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Omari Cryer was shot by a federal marshal last May.

He was suspected of a violent attack on a woman, and he was running from officers when police said he reached for a gun moments after hopping a fence.

Cryer was shot when a task force of federal marshals and LMPD officers tried to arrest him for that attack. Police said he was armed and about to use the weapon when he jumped a fence, and that’s when the marshal shot him.

Although the marshal was the one that pulled the trigger, Cryer’s family says LMPD is still responsible since it was their warrant.

Nearly one year later, his family is still mourning and still has questions. They gathered at Riverview Park on what would’ve been his 26th birthday and in the wake of the DOJ’s report.

“God, give us strength, please,” one family member muttered as several of them embraced.

“Omari was the life of our family,” Cryer’s cousin, Nisha Jamison, said. “Come in the room and tell a joke, talk about somebody’s socks. He would lighten up the room with just one little single joke or one little single dance move, just a smile. That’s who Omari was to us.”

The family is looking for answers and hoping for action. Jamison said the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office feels they don’t have enough evidence to indict anyone for Cryer’s death.

“He was a fleeing suspect,” Jamison said. “His body language according to the footage they put out never showed aggression, it never showed threat, he never turned, he never pointed that weapon.”

The body cam footage from that day shows Cryer running from the police. He hops a fence and pulls out what appears to be a gun from his waistband. That’s when the marshal shot him.

He was immediately given aid by the officers but died from his injuries.

“And within seconds, a marshal coming from the front of the house that had no ability to see what was taking place in the back of that yard, instantly fired those shots and took his life,” Jamison said.

Because it was LMPD’s warrant, the family considers the department just as accountable as the marshal who pulled the trigger.

Jamison said young, Black men have a “flight or fight” mentality because of LMPD’s history, and that’s why Cryer ran.

She says other non-lethal options should’ve been tried first so that he could face a judge for his alleged crimes.

“Mayor Greenberg said he apologized, said we deserve better,” Jamison said. “Well guess what, this family right here deserves better.”

Greenberg said that last Wednesday when the DOJ released the report on LMPD. The report details excessive force and discrimination within the Louisville metro police department.

“Too many people who deserve respect and dignity didn’t get it from officers of the law sworn to protect them,” Greenberg said at a press conference last Wednesday.

The family feels Cryer is one of those people.

“The investigation shouldn’t stop in 2021 because in May of 2022 you all devastated our family,” Jamison said.