District Attorney Natasha Irving reaffirmed Thursday her intent to seek a murder indictment against a former Waldoboro Police Officer for the 2007 shooting death of Gregori Jackson.

She also announced she would be seeking whistle blower protection so the Maine Attorney General's Office does not interfere with her prosecution or retaliate against her office.

Her statements were made during a news conference held in the State House alongside the Jackson family and state legislators who also demanded justice for the 18-year-old Waldoboro man.

"Gregori was murdered in cold blood by Waldoboro Police Department reserve officer Zachary Curtis," his mother Natalie Jackson said. "And the Maine Attorney General's Office has covered up that murder by continuing its ridiculous tradition of justifying every single police shooting it has reviewed for over 30 years."

She praised state Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, independent of Friendship, for his efforts to get the state to re-open the case. She also praised Irving.

"Natasha Irving is our hero. She is selflessly and courageously seeking to get justice for Gregori and our family," Jackson said.

The Attorney General issued a statement after the press conference and said his office is reviewing the case at the family’s request.

"To reopen this matter is a careful deliberative process involving experienced homicide prosecutors and we are prioritizing the completion of this review over other matters."

Frey said this is "a case with several complicated factors, including consideration of whether or not the state can disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Natalie Jackson said the family was not trying to distract or bootstrap the current movement by Black Lives Matter and said she is in full support of what they are seeking.

Irving went through the public record on the case and said that the forensic evidence clearly shows that Curtis' claims of how the shooting occurred simply could not have happened. Those inconsistencies include almost no blood on Curtis even though he claims Jackson was on top of him when he repeatedly fired his gun into the back and the back of the head of Jackson.

There also were no bruises on Jackson's hands or Curtis' face even though the former officer claimed that Jackson had been beating him.

"Considering the incontrovertible evidence that Reserve Officer Curtis' multiple shots to Gregori's back severed Gregori's spine, there is no justification to end Gregori Jackson's life with that last shot to the skull," Irving said.

She said the decision to prosecute is not a close call nor a long shot.

Irving said she hopes the Attorney General's Office will assist in the prosecution with staff who have no conflicts by having been part of the original review by the AG's Office in 2007.

Attorney Amy Fairfield who represents the family said the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Jackson was never asked questions by the AG's Office during its review. That medical examiner was part of the team that made the presentation to Frey last year.

The Sept. 23, 2007 shooting occurred after a traffic stop on Friendship Road. Curtis determined that Jackson, a passenger in the car, violated bail conditions on prior operating under the influence and failure to stop for an officer charges, police said. The alleged violation was that Jackson had been drinking.

When Curtis tried to arrest Jackson, the youth resisted and was pepper-sprayed by the officer. Jackson ran down the road and then into the woods, pursued by Curtis.

The officer claimed that Jackson resisted arrest and the teen struck Curtis with a log.

Curtis further claimed Jackson got on top of him, was trying to choke him and then put his hand on the officer's gun.

The AG's Office, then under Attorney General Steven Rowe, issued a statement Nov. 30, 2007 saying its investigation found the shooting justified.

Maine Attorney General Frey issued a statement June 6 contending that only he has the authority to prosecute homicides and the use of deadly force by police.

Irving said the dispute may have to be decided by the courts.

Rep. Evangelos gave a passionate introduction at the start of the news conference — held on the year anniversary when a group including Evangelos, Irving, and the family met with Frey to outline the evidence they say called for the case to be re-opened and Curtis prosecuted.

"Despite the fact that this team presented overwhelming evidence that Greg's murder was just that, an unjustified brutal killing of an unarmed youngster by an unqualified police officer, Maine's Attorney General has done nothing with the evidence," Evangelos said.

State Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden; Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden; and Rep.Thom Harnett, D-Gardiner, also appeared at the news conference in support of the call for prosecution.

There were no body cameras or dash cameras used in the 2007 case but Rep. Harnett said he would support looking to amend the state's right to know law to allow for the release of such videos in future cases.

A spokesman for Frey said after the news conference that the Attorney General's Office has not threatened to take legal or administrative action against Irving or her office because of her announcement that she would prosecute Curtis.

The following is the full statement from the AG's Office June 11.

“Representatives of the Jackson family asked Attorney General Aaron M. Frey to reexamine the case for potential criminal charges in light of information that developed since former Attorney General Steven Rowe’s determination that then police officer Zachary Curtis was legally justified in shooting Gregori Jackson in 2007. In an unprecedented decision, Attorney General Frey listened to a presentation of that new information and indicated he would review the case.

"The review of the family’s request to reopen this matter is a careful deliberative process involving experienced homicide prosecutors and we are prioritizing the completion of this review over other matters.

"We have followed the public statements of District Attorney Natasha Irving and believe that she is acting beyond the scope of her statutory authority by investigating and threatening to bring murder charges against Zachary Curtis. The investigation and prosecution of murder cases rests solely and exclusively with the Attorney General’s Office as does the criminal investigation of a law enforcement officer who uses deadly force.

"D.A. Irving has been informed of our assessment that her office lacks jurisdiction in this matter and her office has so far declined to engage on this question with the Attorney General’s Office.

This is a case with several complicated factors, including consideration of whether or not the state can disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.”