The civil rights leader and senior lawyer, whom Sharpton has nicknamed “the attorney general of the blacks of the United States”, they considered that the shooting of the police to Hunter Brittain, of 17 years, is “one of the most significant cases” in the fight to push through Congress a historical legislation of police reform .
Attorneys Crump and Devon Jacob, along with Sharpton and representatives of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), were invited to attend Brittain’s funeral Tuesday at Beebe High School in Beebe, Arkansas.
Brittain was fatally shot on June 23 by a Lonoke County deputy sheriff during a traffic stop around 3 a.m. outside a local auto repair shop along Arkansas Highway 89. south of Cabot, a suburb of Little Rock, according to the Arkansas State Police.
Brittain was taken to a North Little Rock hospital, where he later died, state police said.
Later that day, the sheriff’s office identified the deputy sheriff in a post on your facebook page like Sergeant Michael Davis and said he would be put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Eight days later, on July 1, Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley announced that he had fired Davis because the deputy had not “activated his body camera in time” during the traffic stop, which was a violation of department policy.
As a result, there is no recording of the shooting, Staley said in a video statement posted on his office’s Facebook page.
Crump Says Case Could Increase Support For Police Reform Act
Crump told CNN on Friday that he believes Brittain’s death could push lawmakers to pass the bill. George Floyd Police Justice Act, which has been stuck in the Senate since early March as bipartisan negotiators try to reach a compromise on several key points.
The attorney has represented the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Michael Brown and other blacks who were killed by police.
But Crump said the image of an unarmed white teenager killed by police will begin to change the narrative as the country sees that children of all races and ethnicities can be victims of police violence.
“This will be viewed differently because he was not a teenager of color,” Crump said. “Because we’ve always said that our white brothers and sisters couldn’t understand their son being shot down by the police. Those people are supposed to protect them. But that’s a reality that parents of children of color deal with literally every day. of their lifes”.
In his tribute, Sharpton said: “The question of the police is not about black and white. It is about right and wrong.”
Sharpton said it was the first time in his nearly 40-year civil rights career that he had been invited to deliver the eulogy of a white person victim of police brutality.
Brittain’s death has sparked protests outside the sheriff’s office, as well as a so-called “Hunter Act” proposal in the state.
A petition calling for deputies and deputies to carry and activate body cameras throughout their shift has already garnered thousands of signatures.
The George Floyd Act also contains a provision that requires the use of body cameras and requires federal police officers to activate them when answering calls or initiating a stop “at the earliest reasonable opportunity to do so.”
Here’s what Brittain’s family and lawyers say happened
Brittain was driving home with a friend when Davis stopped him, according to Sharpton, who relayed the information from Brittain’s grandmother.
Brittain’s car was unable to put the gearshift into park, so she got out of the vehicle to put a “big bright blue plastic bottle” of antifreeze behind the tire to keep it from rolling into the deputy sheriff’s vehicle. according to a statement released Friday by Crump and Jacob.
It is at this point that Davis shot Brittain three times, according to the statement.
Jordan King, 16, told the CNN affiliate KATV who witnessed the shooting. King said he and Brittain had been changing the transmission on Brittain’s truck at the body shop.
When they got out, King told KATV, Davis stopped them and Brittain placed a blue canister of oil behind the truck’s tires to “keep it from hitting Davis’s car.”
King said the deputy sheriff fired his gun at the time, “without telling Brittain to stop or drop to the ground,” adding that his friend was unarmed.
“They didn’t say a word that I know of. I didn’t hear it and it happened so fast,” King told KATV.
Another police officer arrived at the scene and arrested him, King said.
“(He) told me to come out with my hands up and pull up my shirt and so forth, and then he threw me on the ground, put the handcuffs on me and I was dragging myself and so forth. And then I sat in the back of his car. police for about three hours, “he added.
Jesse Brittain, the teenager’s uncle who also spoke at the funeral, told CNN on “Don Lemon Tonight” on Thursday that police “haven’t given us a single thing,” saying the family is “looking for answers.”
The Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas Sheriffs Association did not respond to a request for comment from CNN to confirm details about the incident set out in the attorneys’ statement.
The sheriff’s office turned the investigation over to state police, who gave their findings to Lonoke County Prosecutor Chuck Graham on Friday, confirmed to CNN. Graham said a special counsel would be assigned to the case.
Prosecution coordinator Bob McMahan told CNN on Saturday that he hopes to appoint a special counsel as soon as Monday and said the investigation is ongoing.
“Body cameras are, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the only way to view the unbiased facts surrounding an encounter between police and civilians resulting in injury and / or death,” according to the Crump and Jacob statement. “When officers turn off their body cameras, they also turn off their intention to be transparent.”
156 whites and 102 blacks were killed by police this year, according to one group
Since January, 156 white people and 102 black people have died at the hands of the police, according to Mapping Police Violence, a database that collects data on police-related deaths. According to the data, this year 14 unarmed whites and six blacks have been killed by the police. The database includes the number of off-duty police homicides, as well as incidents in which the police kill someone “by using a choke key, a baton, a stun gun, or other means,” according to its site. Web.
The blacks, who represent about 14% of the U.S. population are three times more likely to be killed by the police than whites, who are represent 76% of the population of the country, according to Mapping Police Violence data.
Crump, who has previously represented white inmates who died or were murdered while incarcerated, said he had to “help give (Brittain’s) family a voice to say that Hunter Brittain’s life mattered.”
“I want to be able to talk to senators on both sides of the aisle and tell them, ‘This is not just about black kids, it’s also about brown kids and white kids and Asian kids,'” Crump said. “It is about our citizens being mistreated or killed because the federal government has not acted.”
Sharpton said she didn’t know what to expect when she arrived in Arkansas for Brittain’s funeral, but she knew she had to “take the risk” knowing it was an important moment.
“I think there may have been (300) or 400 people there, maybe 20 blacks, and getting five or six standing ovations showed that this is a real chance for us to come together, a real police accountability movement that is based on on race, and class, “he said
Sharpton added, “Like I said at the tribute, if Hunter had been a rich guy in another part of the white community, would he have been shot like that?”
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