LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A black teenager pointed a BB gun that looked like a handgun at police before he was fatally shot by officers outside an emergency youth center in eastern Arkansas, a prosecutor said Wednesday in announcing no charges would be filed against the officers.
Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington released body camera footage that shows 16-year-old Aries Clark was holding and raising what appeared to be a pistol on July 25 outside East Arkansas Youth Services in Marion.
The officers “ordered, cajoled, encouraged and begged” Clark to get rid of the gun, Ellington wrote in a letter to the head of Arkansas State Police, which investigated the shooting. In one video, an officer can be heard promising to put his gun down if Clark drops his, telling the teen: “You’re somebody’s kid, man. We don’t want to do this.”
Ellington said the two officers who fired their weapons — Brannon Hinkle and Wesley Smith — were justified in using lethal force. Both officers are white.
“Clark’s actions that day brought about the circumstances that threatened the lives of at least four law enforcement officers had the gun he brandished been a firearm, as was perceived by the responding officers, and I cannot find that the officers acted criminally,” Ellington wrote.
“Therefore, I find the officers were justified under these circumstances and no criminal charges will be filed in the matter.”
The teenager’s grandmother, Vickie Burks, disagreed and said her grandson…
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