December 7, 2021

Officer Who Killed Arkansas Teen Hunter Brittain Charged With Manslaughter

3 min read

In June, at 3 a.m. on a darkish stretch of a freeway in rural Arkansas, 17-year-old Hunter Brittain was shot and killed by a sergeant from the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Workplace.

The white teen’s loss of life prompted protests in a area of the state not recognized for talking out in opposition to police violence. It additionally attracted the attention of Black civil rights leaders like legal professional Benjamin Crump, who’s representing Brittain’s household, and has stood alongside them as they’ve known as for justice.

On Friday, Jeff Phillips, a particular prosecutor assigned to the case, introduced that Michael Davis, the sergeant who shot Brittain, will probably be charged with manslaughter for “recklessly” capturing at Brittain.

Based on an affidavit learn by Phillips at a press convention, Brittain was test-driving a pickup truck along with his cousin that the 2 spent the evening tinkering on at an area restore store. The automotive, which had transmission points, started smoking and was pulled over by Davis because it neared the restore store.

In an interview with investigators, Davis stated that earlier than he may put his personal automotive in park, Brittain jumped out and moved to the rear of the truck and commenced reaching into the mattress because it slowly rolled backwards. Davis stated he gave instructions to Brittain to indicate his fingers that had been ignored. When Brittain was about to take away his fingers from the again of the truck, Davis stated he shot as soon as earlier than he may see what Brittain was holding.

Davis’ legal professional, Robert Newcomb, beforehand instructed The Every day Beast that Davis feared the worst when Brittain hopped out and reached into the mattress of his truck.

Nevertheless it turned out to simply be a jug of antifreeze.

Jordan King, Brittain’s cousin who was within the automotive with him on the time, stated Brittain hopped out with the jug to put it behind the truck’s tires—which is one thing the teenager all the time did to assist cease the outdated truck. However King stated Davis by no means gave any instructions to Brittain earlier than he shot him.

The 2 conflicting narratives had been hampered by the truth that Davis’ physique digicam was by no means turned on throughout the fast encounter. Shortly after the capturing, Davis was fired by the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Workplace for breaking their body-camera coverage.

The investigation of the capturing was rapidly turned over to the Arkansas State Police. In July, Phillips, a prosecutor from a district on the opposite aspect of the state, was assigned to deal with the case.

His press convention on Friday was temporary and he refused to take questions. “I don’t wish to jeopardize this case, it’s too necessary,” he stated.

Crump, in a press release, stated the fees had been step one “within the pursuit of justice” for Brittain, including that his capturing was the “newest instance of regulation enforcement capturing first and asking questions later.”

After Phillips’ announcement {that a} warrant can be issued for Davis’ arrest on Friday, the courtroom burst into cheers.

If convicted of manslaughter, Davis might be sentenced to a most of 10 years in jail.

His legal professional, Newcomb, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Wendy Lindsey, Hunter’s cousin, stated in an interview shortly after the announcement on Friday that she was comfortable “no less than one thing was executed.” However she added that she didn’t assume the manslaughter cost for Davis wasn’t sufficient.

“I feel it’s homicide,” she stated. “He took a life.”

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