Hamilton County prosecutor, Joe Deters, announced on June 6 that Michelle Gregg will not face charges of negligence after her 3-year-old boy, Isiah Dickerson, strayed at the Cincinnati Zoo, which resulted in him falling into the Gorilla enclosure on May 28.
While many claimed that it’s because of her that the beloved gorilla, Harambe, was killed, Michelle was found to be ‘attentive’ when the boy ran off.
Deters said the mother's actions were 'not even close' to meriting reckless endangerment charges.
Joe pointed out that the mother had three other children in her care, and based on surveillance cameras and witnesses, she did nothing wrong.
“Kids can scamper off and they do,” Joe said. But added that if Michelle had been “in the bathroom smoking crack that would have been a different story, but that’s not what happened.” Sadly though, the incident ended with the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old gorilla, Harambe, which ended up igniting an international uproar.
“The family is very pleased with this decision; it is what we expected,” the boy’s family said in a statement on June 6. “This is one more step in allowing us to put this tragic episode behind us and return to our normal family life. We extend thanks to all of those who have been praying for us and who have supported us through this trying ordeal and praise to God for His mercy and grace.”
The zoo's role will be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act. An animal protection watchdog group has urged that the zoo face federal fines.