A Mississippi boy who called 911 was shot by police : NPR
Courtesy of Nakala Murry via AP
Aderrien Murry, 11, called 911 for help at his home in Indianola, Miss., last weekend. But after the police arrived, an officer shot him in the chest. The boy is recovering, but his family is demanding answers — and they want the officer involved fired.
Aderrien’s mother, Nakala Murry, says she told her son to call her mother and the police after the father of one of her children appeared at their home in the early hours of Saturday, May 20. She was concerned for her safety, Murry said. — but when the police arrived, things went very 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. “His words to me were: ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do?’ and he just started crying,” she said in a news conference at Indianola City Hall earlier this week.
The family wants to see body camera footage
The Murry family wants police body camera footage of the incident released. In demonstrations in Indianola this week, they also called for both 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 Enterprise-Tocsin this week[aqallitne[[amidtheadmirative[aqallitne[[amid-dmirattiv
“No child should ever be subjected to such violence at the hands of those they are sworn to protect and serve,” Moore he said on Thursday.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, in which it says a minor “received significant injuries.” 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 20th
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 son’s father had come home, and she realized he was “angry,” she said. Worried about what might happen, she handed her son a phone and told him to call for help. That brought the police.
“The officers never came all the way inside the house,” Murry said, adding that the police officers 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 added that authorities were told twice that no one had a gun in the house — once by her son on the 911 call and again by herself, as she spoke to officers at the door.
But when Aderrien came empty-handed from his bedroom into the living room, Murry says the officer — who already had his gun out, Murry said — shot him. Her son was running, she said, and was shot in an instant.
She ran to her son’s aid, putting her hand on his wound to try to stop the bleeding. The officer also tried to give help, and the police called an ambulance. Aderrien was taken to hospital, where he was put on a ventilator. His injuries include a collapsed lung, a broken rib and a lacerated liver, Murry said.
“This can no longer happen,” she said, referring to the use of deadly force by police. “This is not OK.”
“My baby almost lost his life,” Murry said. “It was scary, it’s traumatic,” she added saying that she noticed that at that time there were also two other children in the house. After her son was shot, Murry said, no one from town reached out to her.
Where things stand now
When the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation finishes its inquiry, “agents will share their findings with the Attorney General’s Office,” press secretary Bailey C. Martin told NPR.
For her, Murry says, the main issue in this case is not race — Murry, Aderrien and Capers are all Black — but police training and attitudes.
“You’re here to protect and serve,” Murry said. “In this case, we didn’t feel protected. We felt victims.”
In the United States, police are more likely to use deadly force on Black people than any other ethnic group, according to Statist — which notes that fatal police shootings have continued a troubling upward trend.
In another high-profile case in Mississippi involving the use of force by police, the city of Jackson released police footage on Wednesday from a New Year’s Eve incident in which three officers repeatedly shocked a Black man with stun guns. That man, 41-year-old Keith Murriel, died in custody.
The officers who were now before were charged recently; in that case, the city withheld body-cam footage until the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation completed its investigation.