It's been six months since 30-year-old Victoria Nicodemus was killed in Fort Greene by an unlicensed driver who jumped the curb and ran her over on the sidewalk as she shopped with her boyfriend. The SUV driver, 39-year-old Marlon Sewell, was apparently swerving to avoid hitting a bus, and was charged only with two misdemeanors, which enraged Nicodemus's family and safe streets activists. Since then, her family has been seeking justice for her death, and is now petitioning the Brooklyn District Attorney's office to open a grand jury investigation into the crash, which it has so far been reluctant to do.

"We tried to remain hopeful and buy into what the DA's office was telling us, that it was being investigated thoroughly, but we're getting the impression now that they're willing to stand pat with the misdemeanor charges," said Nicodemus's brother, Hank Miller.

Those charges carry a fine of up to $500, or up to 30 days in prison. Miller said that the assistant DA handling the case, David Pan, is quite helpful and has been advocating on the family's behalf to take the case to a grand jury investigation, but has been getting pushback from his superiors. Though Miller wouldn't say whether he thinks that's coming directly from DA Ken Thompson himself, he did note that Thompson's been weathering heavy criticism since recommending that Peter Liang, the former cop who shot and killed innocent Akai Gurley in 2014, not receive any prison time.

"I hate to have the impression that they fear taking a loss in court, and that's why they don't want to aggressively prosecute this case," Miller said. "If the DA keeps saying it's a difficult case to prove, it's unacceptable. If it's difficult, then work harder, or make the extra effort to prosecute.. It would help us feel better if we were confident that the DA's office was pursuing this aggressively and really considering the fact that it was a life taken."

When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the DA's office said only that the case is "under an active investigation."

According to a report from the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, drivers who failed to yield caused nearly 6,000 crashes resulting in death or injury in 2015, and fewer than 40 of them were prosecuted for it. Homicide charges are brought against drivers in less than 7% of cases where pedestrians or cyclists are killed. Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, has joined Nicodemus's family in urging further action, saying today that "this was a felonious act. Any driver behaving that brutally, that deadly, that recklessly, should be charged with a felony. Period. That requires a grand jury investigation. Ken Thompson, please do your job."

Nicodemus had been shopping for Christmas decorations in Fort Greene with her boyfriend when she was struck and killed by the vehicle. She'd moved to New York with her boyfriend in 2013 and soon got a job as an art curator at a company called Indiewalls. In her free time, she loved exploring art, film, and music in the city.

Since the petition to the Brooklyn DA was posted online two weeks ago, it's garnered over 1,100 signatures, and is nearing its goal of 1,500. Though many of those signatures have come from Brooklyn, Nicodemus's family has also seen signatures from people in Germany, Japan, Iceland, and the United Kingdom. That support, Miller said, has been helpful as the family continues to reel from the sudden loss.

"My mom still cries every day," Miller said. "A piece of her heart was torn out and she'll never get that back. But the support's been really fantastic."