Mississippi boy who called 911 was shot dead by police: NPR
Courtesy of Nakala Murry via AP
Aderrien Murry, 11, called 911 for help at his home in Indianola, Mississippi, last weekend. But after the police arrived, a policeman shot him in the chest. The boy is recovering, but his family are demanding answers – and they want the officer involved fired.
Aderrien’s mother, Nakala Murry, says she told her son to call his mother and the police after the father of one of her other children appeared at their home in the early hours of Saturday May 20. She was worried for her safety, Murry said. – but when the police arrived, things went horribly wrong. An officer ordered people out of the house and then shot Aderrien after he left his room, she said.
Her son doesn’t understand what happened, Murry said. “He said to me, ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do?’ and he just started crying,” she said at a news conference at Indianola City Hall earlier this week.
The family wants to see footage from the body camera
The Murry family want police body camera footage of the incident released. At rallies in Indianola this week, they also called for the officer who shot Aderrien and the police chief to be fired.
The officer involved is Sgt. Greg Capers, according to Murry’s attorney, Carlos Moore. Indianola City Attorney Kimberly Merchant confirmed the name to the local newspaper The Company-Tocsin this week, saying he has been removed from his post.
“No child should ever be subjected to such violence from those sworn to protect and serve,” Moore said. said Thursday.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, in which it says a minor “was seriously injured.” The agency provided few details in response to a request from NPR, citing ongoing evidence gathering.
Several Indianola officials, including Mayor Ken Featherstone, did not respond to NPR’s requests for comment on the shooting incident.
What happened on May 20
Nakala Murry says two police officers came to her home on BB King Road in Indianola after she asked her son to call 911. Her child’s father had come to the house and she realized he was ” angry,” she said. Worried about what might happen, she gave her son a phone and told him to call for help. This brought the police.
“The police never came all the way inside the house,” Murry said, adding that the police stayed just outside the door frame. A light was on in the living room just inside the door, she added.
Police asked everyone inside to come out with their hands up, Murry said. She said authorities were told twice that no one had a gun in the house – once by her son when he called 911 and again by herself, speaking to officers at the door.
But when an empty-handed Aderrien came from his bedroom into the living room, Murry says the officer — who had already drawn his gun, Murry said — shot him. Her son was running, she said, and he was shot in an instant.
She rushed to help her son, putting her hands on his wound to try to keep the blood from flowing. The officer also attempted to provide assistance and the police called an ambulance. Aderrien was taken to hospital, where he was put on a ventilator. His injuries include a collapsed lung, fractured rib and lacerated liver, Murry said.
“This cannot go on,” she said, referring to the police’s use of deadly force. “It’s not OK.”
“My baby almost died,” Murry said. “It was scary, it’s traumatic,” she added, noting that two other children were also in the house at the time. Following her son’s shooting, Murry said, no one in town contacted her.
Where are things now
When the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation completes its investigation, “officers will share their findings with the attorney general’s office,” publicist Bailey C. Martin told NPR.
For her, says Murry, the key issue in this case is not race — Murry, Aderrien and Capers are all black — but police training and attitudes.
“You are here to protect and to serve,” Murry said. “In this case, we didn’t feel protected. We felt like victims.”
In the United States, police are more likely to use deadly force against black people than any other ethnic group, according to Statista – which notes that fatal police shootings have continued on a worrying upward trend.
In another high-profile case in Mississippi involving police use of force, the city of Jackson on Wednesday released police footage of a New Year’s Eve incident in which three officers shocked several times a black man with stun guns. This man, Keith Murriel, 41, died in custody.
The former officers were recently charged; in this case, the city withheld body camera footage until the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation completed its investigation.