Don’t Let Children Get Caught in Police Crossfire

Target: Charles Haynes, Director of Mississippi Bureau of Investigation

Goal: Clarify circumstances surrounding reported shooting of 11-year-old unarmed boy by police.

The release of bodycam footage has reopened controversy surrounding the shooting of an 11-year-old Black Mississippi boy. The incident began when an emergency domestic violence call came from the boy, Aderrien Murry, and his mother. When officers responded, within minutes the boy was reportedly on the ground bleeding. A responding officer apparently shot Murry (believing he was the subject of the call) as he emerged from a room in the residence with his hands allegedly over his head.

The boy survived his ordeal, but his mother—who was on-scene as her bleeding son collapsed into her arms—charged that officers used excessive force. The released footage appears to support the mother and son’s claims that the boy was following the orders of the officer for all individuals in the house to surrender when he was shot. A grand jury did not ultimately indict the officer. Questions still remain, however, about whether all relevant information (including the presence of children at the residence) was conveyed to officers and if miscommunication may have played a part in the unfolding events.

Sign the petition below to demand stronger protocols and more transparency from the Mississippi Department of Investigation regarding highly sensitive cases.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Haynes,

It seemingly took months for this bureau to respond to requests for the release of bodycam footage relating to the case of Aderrien Murry: the 11-year-old reportedly shot by mistake by a police officer. Now, the family of this boy is facing similar stonewalling about the release of emergency call information that could be pertinent to understanding these highly charged circumstances. These blockades create distrust between communities (especially communities of color) and law enforcement.

Please act with more transparency in this case and similar disputed cases. Moreover, help bridge crucial communication gaps that may currently exist between the state’s police officers and other emergency personnel. Clear and effective communication may have prevented this boy’s suffering and could stop future tragedies.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Luis Quintero


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