No charges for Mississippi police officer who shot unarmed 11-year-old Aderrien Murry

No charges for Mississippi police officer who shot unarmed 11-year-old Aderrien Murry

Cybele Mayes-Osterman

A Mississippi police sergeant did not commit any crime when he shot an unarmed 11-year-old boy in his home after his mother called police for help, a grand jury decided.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced Thursday that Sgt. Greg Capers of the Indianola Police Department will face no criminal charges for the shooting. Indianola is a town of about 16,000 about 95 miles from Jackson.

Capers shot Aderrien Murry in the chest as officers responded to a 911 call placed by Aderrien’s mother, Nakala Murry, in May. The shooting left Aderrien with a collapsed lung, lacerated liver and fractured ribs.

“I think we should at least go to trial, and I feel bad because no one is able to hear my voice,” Murry told USA TODAY.

Murry said she told her son of the decision when he came home from school. “I felt like it would make him feel like they didn’t care,” she said of the jury.

Micheal Carr, an attorney for Capers, told USA TODAY: “The grand jury made the correct decision and the proper decision. … Sgt. Capers is looking forward to getting back to work and serving the citizens of our county.”

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‘I don’t even know if I ever want to call the police again’

Murray made the call that led to her son’s shooting on May 20, according to court records. At about 4 a.m., she asked police to come and remove her daughter’s father after he became “irate” during a visit to her home.

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When he arrived, Murry said Capers ordered everyone to leave the house with their hands raised. But as Aderrien came out with his hands up, according to Murry, Capers shot him.

“I believe he shot first and he looked second, and that’s not how police officers are trained,” Carlos Moore, Aderrien’s attorney, told USA TODAY. “He clearly had nothing in his hand. He had his hands up as instructed and still got shot.”

Murry, who is a certified medical assistant, said she tried to compress her son’s bloody wounds as they waited for an ambulance.

“I called to de-escalate a situation that wasn’t even nearly as traumatic, as bad as what happened when I called the cops,” Murry said. “I don’t even know if I ever want to call the police again.”

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Court keeps body camera footage from public

Although Capers’ body camera captured footage of the shooting, it has not been publicly released by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Murry appealed the decision in a federal civil case.

“I still want the video, the full video to be released in its entirety,” Murry said. “I will do whatever I can, because I feel like the citizens deserve to see the footage and to see the type of person that they are releasing back into the streets.”

The court granted an earlier motion filed by Carr to keep the footage sealed, in part because of the publicity it would generate on social media, according to court documents shared by Carr. “The video, once out, is likely to haunt all participants, including this child, long after this litigation has ended,” Judge David A. Sanders wrote.

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Although the video was kept behind closed doors, Carr believes it shows Capers did not commit any crime. “While the plaintiff’s attorney and the personal injury suit has attempted to make this into a Trayvon Martin-type situation, that’s simply just not the case,” he said, referencing the high-profile 2012 shooting of the 17-year-old in Florida.

The Board of Aldermen suspended Capers without pay after the shooting. The board did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment, and it was unclear when a vote would be held to reinstate Capers.

Murry said she will continue to fight to prevent Capers’ return to active duty. “If they reinstate him as an officer and we have to see him, I don’t think it’s fair,” she said.

Murry also is seeking at least $5 million in a federal lawsuit filed against Capers for the injuries caused to her son and against the city of Indianola and the police chief for failing to properly train Capers.

“While it may not have risen to the level of a crime in Mississippi because my client survived, we do still feel that it is a viable civil claim against the city and the officer for the officer’s recklessness in almost killing my client,” Moore said.

Moore said the family also plans to file a separate lawsuit in state court. “If an officer is reckless and harms the person who was not committing a crime, the city is responsible,” he said.

Aderrien is doing better both physically and emotionally, thanks to weekly therapy sessions, Murry said.

“He doesn’t have as many health problems,” she said. “He still complains or he has to slow down when doing certain things every now and then.”

Cybele Mayes-Osterman is a breaking news reporter for USA Today. Reach her on email at [email protected]. Follow her on X @CybeleMO.

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