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August 25, 2019

Little Rock Police release video of officer shooting into car at least 15 times during fatal traffic stop

March 13, 2019
The Little Rock Police Department has released footage from a deadly officer-involved shooting during a traffic stop last month, which sees the former cop repeatedly firing his weapon into the moving car while lying on top of its hood. (Little Rock Police Department)

The Little Rock Police Department has released footage from a deadly officer-involved shooting during a traffic stop last month, which sees the former cop repeatedly firing his weapon into the moving car while lying on top of its hood.

Officer Charles Starks was responding to confirmed reports of a stolen Nissan Altima on Feb. 22 when he spotted the vehicle in question around 11 a.m. Little Rock interim Chief of Police Wayne Bewley said there was no pursuit involved and that driver, identified as Bradley Blackshire, pulled into a parking lot ahead of the fatal confrontation.

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The video, compiled of dashcam footage, clips from nearby business’ surveillance cameras and radio traffic, sees Starks’ police cruiser park nearby almost immediately after Blackshire pulls into a parking space. The Little Rock officer then makes his way to Nissan’s driver’s side window with his gun drawn and repeatedly asks Blackshire to exit the car.

“What did I do?” the driver asks. “What are you going to shoot me for?”

Blackshire starts to drive away slowly, knocking into Starks, who fires into the windshield four times in row. The driver stops momentarily, giving the responding officer enough time to position himself in front of the car. Blackshire continues to drive, but Starks clings to the hood and shoots into the vehicle at least another 11 times.

Starks continues discharging his weapon until a second officer, Michael Simpson, arrives on the scene off Rodney Parham road. He then orders a female passenger out of the vehicle, who he puts in handcuffs. She tells the officers Blackshire is armed and that he only just picked her up.

“Information: Driver has been shot. He still has a gun. I fired multiple times,” Starks says.

Bewley, who provided narration during portions of the video, said Blackshire died at the scene while the female passenger was uninjured.

Starks was treated at a nearby hospital for a knee injury and released the same day. The officer, who joined the department in 2013, was relieved of duty just days after shooting.

During a press conference ahead of the 25-minute video’s release Thursday night, Mayor Scott Frank Jr. told reporters the criminal investigation into the deadly confrontation is complete and has since been sent to prosecutors for their consideration. FBI officials are also looking into the February traffic stop, he said.

“I was elected to change this city, to unite this city. I’ve already shared that this will be a full and fair investigation,” the mayor added.

Bewley also emphasized that the department shared the footage as a means to be transparent with the community, not to “prematurely draw any conclusions to the criminal investigation or the separate administrative investigation.”

An attorney for Blackshire’s family, Omavi Shukur, has called the officer-involved shooting a murder. He told CBS affiliate KTHV that it was an example of “unacceptable and unnecessary use of deadly force.”

With News Wire Services

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