LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS — A police officer is receiving criticism for a shooting that took place while trying to stop a man suspected of driving a stolen vehicle.
The incident occurred on February 22nd, and the debate is raging as to whether or not the officer used excessive force.
Here is how the scenario played out, according to a report from dailyherald.com;
In the nearly 25 minute-long video, various angles show the confrontation between Officer Charles Starks, who is white, and 30 year-old Bradley Blackshire, who was black. Police said Starks was responding to a call after a detective confirmed the car Blackshire was driving was stolen.
The video shows that almost immediately after Blackshire’s car backs into a space in a parking lot, a police SUV arrives with lights on and stops nearby. Starks then walks to the driver’s side window with his gun drawn and instructs Blackshire to get out of the car multiple times. Blackshire refuses and asks, “What did I do?” and “What are you going to shoot me for?” Blackshire then begins to slowly drive away.
Starks is knocked by the car and fires into the windshield four times. Blackshire momentarily stops, and Starks maneuvers in front of the vehicle, leaning on the hood.
When Blackshire continues to drive, Starks – now on top of the hood – shoots at least 11 more times into the windshield. He stops shooting and gets off the car after a second officer, Michael Simpson, arrives and crashes into Blackshire’s vehicle.
Here is part of the dash cam footage released by police:
A woman, who was also in the vehicle, cooperated with police and told them that the driver had a gun.
Blackshire died at the scene.
The family of Blackshire issued a statement through their lawyer, stating;
“The video confirms our assessment that Charles Starks employed an unreasonable and excessive amount of force.” The family noted the slow speed at which the car was moving and the number of times Starks fired.
It is still being determined as to whether or not charges will be filed against Starks.
Do you feel that Officer Starks handled this correctly, or do you feel the use of force was excessive? Chime in below.