Russellville, Ark. (AP) — A former Arkansas sheriff’s deputy was charged Friday with murder in the fatal shooting of a white teenager whose death has drawn the attention of national civil rights activists.
A special prosecutor has announced felony charges against former Lonoc County Sheriff’s Office sergeant Michael Davis in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Hunter Brittain. If convicted, Davis could face three to 10 years in prison.
Davis shot Brittain on June 23 during a traffic stop outside an auto repair shop along Arkansas Highway 89 south of Cabot, a city of about 26,000 people about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.
According to the arrest affidavit, Davis told investigators that he shot Briton in the neck once during a traffic stop after the teen got into the back of his truck and did not obey his orders to show his hands. Was. The affidavit said the Briton was holding a container – which members of his family have called antifreeze – and found no evidence of firearms in or near the truck.
A British passenger said he and the teenager were working on a transmission for the UK truck. The passenger told investigators that he never heard Davis ask the teen to show his hand.
Davis, who is white, was fired by Lonoc County Sheriff John Staley for not turning on his body camera until after the shooting in July. Staley said there is no footage from the shooting, only the aftermath.
As soon as Phillips announced the allegation, several members of Britain’s family and friends shouted, “Thank you Jesus.” Phillips said a bond hearing for Davis would take place on Monday.
The teen’s uncle Jesse Brittain said he was happy to see some of the charges leveled against Davis, although he would have preferred a more serious charge.
“It’s something,” he told reporters after the announcement. “We’re going to take it and see what else (Phillips) has to say and hope it lasts. He’s no longer an officer and he can’t kill any more kids.
The Rev. Al Sharpton and two lawyers representing George Floyd praised Britain. He said the teen’s death highlighted the need for interracial support for efforts to reform police practices. Britain’s family and friends have regularly demonstrated outside the Lonoch County Sheriff’s Office, demanding more information about the shooting.
Floyd died in May of last year after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to press the handcuffed black man’s neck to the ground. His death sparked nationwide protests over policing and racial inequality.