In yet another alarming example of the perils associated with dialing 911 for help, an unarmed 11-year-old boy found himself in the midst of a tragically aggressive law enforcement response for doing what he was taught by the system to do. His courageous act to protect his mother during a domestic disturbance ended with a taxpayer-funded round in his torso.
The boy, Aderrien Murry, did exactly what he was instructed to do in such situations — he called 911 to report a domestic disturbance involving his mother and the father of his sibling. Rather than the assistance he sought, Aderrien was met with a violently disproportionate response. Officer Greg Capers, according to the family’s attorney Carlos Moore, arrived on the scene with weapon drawn, preparing for battle rather than de-escalation.
The incident began in the early hours when the father of one of Nakala Murry’s children arrived at her home in a state of agitation. Fearful of what could transpire, Aderrien Murray’s mother, Nakala, asked her son to call 911 for assistance.
Little did she know, this would result in a traumatic turn of events for her Aderrien, who will carry the physical and psychological scars of this incident for the rest of his life. With plans to file a federal lawsuit and to convene a grand jury on a charge of aggravated assault against Officer Capers, the family, and their attorney hope to bring about justice for Aderrien.
In recounting the nightmarish scene, Moore explained that despite the mother’s assurance that no one in the house was armed, Officer Capers ordered everyone out with their hands up. Seemingly unable to resolve the situation without senseless violence, despite Aderrien’s compliance, Capers fired his weapon, shooting the child in the chest.
The poignant words of the young boy lingered in the air, “Why did he shoot me? What did I do?” The disheartening irony that a plea for help was met with such reckless force cannot be ignored.
The shooting was captured on body camera footage but has not been released due to “an ongoing investigation.”
Local officials responded to the incident by placing Officer Capers on paid vacation pending an investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Naturally, this has done little to quell the outrage and pain of the community, and the family’s call for the officer’s dismissal.
“We have a young, unarmed Black boy shot in the chest. [Capers] is a threat to the safety of the residents of Indianola,” Moore said. “He needs to face a grand jury of his peers for unnecessarily shooting this boy.”
The brutal incident adds to a growing list of cases where police have responded to 911 calls with an unwarranted show of force, often leading to grave consequences. Such episodes, in essence, shine a stark light on the hazards of requesting assistance from those pledged to serve and protect.
In just the last 12 months, 1,079 people have been fatally shot by police in the United States, according to a WaPo database. So far in 2023, police have shot and killed 407 people. These figures underscore a disturbing trend in law enforcement practices.
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