Mississippi police officer who shot 11-year-old boy suspended without pay
Jun 13, 2023, 4:47 PM
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi police officer who shot and wounded an unarmed 11-year-old Black boy in the child’s home has been suspended without pay, a city official said Tuesday.
The Indianola Board of Aldermen voted Monday night to immediately stop paying Sgt. Greg Capers, board member Marvin Elder said Tuesday. Capers, who is Black, had previously been suspended with pay, according to Carlos Moore, the attorney representing the family of the boy, Aderrien Murry.
Moore said the family is still pushing to get Capers fired. “He needs to be terminated and he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Moore said.
Aderrien Murry was hospitalized for five days with a collapsed lung, lacerated liver and fractured ribs after Capers shot him in the chest May 20, Moore said. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is examining the case, as is customary with shootings involving law enforcement, but Capers has not been charged with any crime.
Capers’ attorney, Michael Carr, said the Board’s 4-1 vote was cast during a “closed-door, unnoticed” meeting without informing him or his client.
“This is very disturbing to Sgt. Capers, and he should have been allowed due process,” Carr said. “They have no evidence Sgt. Capers intentionally shot this young man, which he didn’t. Everything that happened was a total and complete accident.”
Carr added that body camera footage would prove Capers did nothing wrong. “I thank God that Sgt. Capers was wearing a bodycam,” Carr said.
The shooting happened in Indianola, a town of about 9,300 residents in the rural Mississippi Delta, about 95 miles (153 kilometers) northwest of Jackson.
Nakala Murry asked her son to call police about 4 a.m. when the father of one of her other children showed up at her home, Moore said. Two officers went to the home, and one kicked the front door before Murry opened it. She told them the man causing a disturbance had left the home, but three children were inside, Moore said.
According to Murry, Capers yelled into the home and said anyone inside should come out with their hands up, Moore said. He said Aderrien walked into the living room with nothing in his hands, and Capers shot him in the chest.
Murry has filed a federal lawsuit against Indianola, the police chief and Capers. The lawsuit, which seeks at least $5 million, says Indianola failed to properly train the officer and that Capers used excessive force. Murry also filed an affidavit, reviewed by The Associated Press, calling for criminal charges against Capers. That affidavit will be considered at an Oct. 2 probable cause hearing in the Sunflower County Circuit Court.
“This is only the beginning,” Murry said in a written statement. “I look forward to seeing Greg Capers terminated, and never allowed to work for law enforcement again.”
Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mikergoldberg.