A Mississippi family has demanded a police officer be dismissed and charged with aggravated assault for shooting an 11-year-old boy when police responded to the child’s own domestic disturbance call at his home.
Aderrien Murry, who called police at the request of his mother, was unarmed and following instructions from Indianola officer Greg Capers. Then Capers shot him in the chest early last Saturday morning, seriously wounding him, family attorney Carlos Moore said.
The boy had called police to the home after his mother, Nakala Murry, was threatened by a man at 4am local time, but Capers “escalated the situation”, Moore said. The man was believed to be a former partner of Nakala Murry, various media reports suggested.
Nakala Murry said her son is “blessed” to be alive but he does not understand why an officer shot him.
“This was the worst moment in my life and I feel like nobody cares. That’s my child, y’all,” Nakala Murry said, as she cried in the lobby of the local city hall during a sit-in protest on Thursday against the police action.
The small group of demonstrators sang We Shall Overcome, the gospel song that became a key protest anthem during the American civil rights movement.
Moore called for bodycam video to be released and objected to Capers being placed on paid leave pending the investigation.
“We are demanding justice. An 11-year-old Black boy in the city of Indianola came within an inch of losing his life,” Moore said. “He had done nothing wrong and everything right.”
Moore added to NBC: “The main question [Aderrien] has been asking is why did this happen to me? The child suffered a collapsed lung, lacerated liver and fractured ribs. … He’s blessed to have survived but he’s still in pain emotionally and mentally.”
Murry was taken to the University of Mississippi medical center for treatment. He stayed there for five days and was released and returned back home on Wednesday.
Nakala Murry told the cable news outlet that the man had arrived at her house “irate” and she was worried about her safety. Then when the police officer arrived he already had his gun drawn when he was at the front door, she further recounted.
Moore said two officers responded, and one kicked the front door before the mother opened it. She told them the intruder had left the home but three children were inside, Moore said, adding that Nakala Murry told him Capers yelled that anyone inside should come out with their hands up.
He said that Aderrien walked into the living room with nothing in his hands, and Capers, who is Black, shot him in the chest.
Indianola city attorney Kimberly Merchant confirmed to the Enterprise-Tocsin newspaper in Indianola that Capers is the officer who fired the shot.
The police department was not available for comment. The Mississippi bureau of investigation is investigating.
The majority Black city of Indianola, population 15,000, is about 100 miles north of Jackson, the state’s capital city.