A grand jury in eastern Mississippi has decided to not indict a white police officer in the death of a black man who died after a physical encounter with the officer.

Stonewall police Chief Michael Street on Monday confirmed the grand jury had declined to indict Officer Kevin Herrington. Herrington had stopped Jonathan Sanders and confronted him, believing he was in possession of drugs.

The confrontation on July 8, 2015, and Sanders' death sparked protests in Stonewall, fueled by allegations that Herrington used excessive force. Sanders had been driving a horse and buggy before he died.

Street says the grand jury report found Sanders died as a result of asphyxiation associated with "acute cocaine toxicity."

Street says Sanders died after ingesting cocaine he was trying to hide.