By HANNAH GRABENSTEIN, Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Little Rock Police Department has released footage from a deadly officer-involved shooting that shows the officer on the hood of a car firing at least 15 times into the windshield.
Mayor Frank Scott said Thursday that the department, along with an outside marketing group, compiled dashcam footage, video from nearby businesses’ security cameras, and radio traffic from the Feb. 22 incident. Scott said the videos weren’t edited, and he urged the public to remain calm and trust in due process.
Scott’s spokeswoman said Friday that Starks is still being paid but is no longer performing any departmental duties during the investigation, and was ordered to surrender his badge and gun.
In the nearly 25 minute-long video, various angles show the confrontation between Officer Charles Starks, who is white, and 30 year-old Bradley Blackshire, who was black. Police said Starks was responding to a call after a detective confirmed the car Blackshire was driving was stolen.
The video shows that almost immediately after Blackshire’s car backs into a space in a parking lot, a police SUV arrives with lights on and stops nearby. Starks then walks to the driver’s side window with his gun drawn and instructs Blackshire to get out of the car multiple times. Blackshire refuses and asks, “What did I do?” and “What are you going to shoot me for?” Blackshire then begins to slowly drive away.
Starks is knocked by the car and fires into the windshield four times. Blackshire momentarily stops, and Starks maneuvers in front of the vehicle, leaning on the hood.
When Blackshire continues to drive, Starks — now on top of the hood — shoots at least 11 more times into the windshield. He stops shooting and gets off the car after a second officer, Michael Simpson, arrives and crashes into Blackshire’s vehicle.
After the car stops, Starks tells a female passenger to get on the ground. He handcuffs her, and she says Blackshire had just picked her up and that he had a gun.
The officers then radio for an ambulance.
In the video, Interim Chief of Police Wayne Bewley, who narrates parts of the footage, says Blackshire died at the scene. Police also said Starks sustained an unspecified injury to his right leg. Neither the passenger nor Simpson was hurt.
Bewley said the initial criminal investigation has been completed and the file has been handed to prosecutors to determine if charges will be filed. The administrative investigation is ongoing to determine if the officer’s actions were in compliance with department policy.
Scott said the FBI contacted Little Rock police to conduct a civil rights review on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Blackshire’s family, through an attorney, said: “The video confirms our assessment that Charles Starks employed an unreasonable and excessive amount of force.” The family noted the slow speed at which the car was moving and the number of times Starks fired.
A spokesman for the Little Rock Police Department could not be reached for comment.
Scott, Little Rock’s first elected black mayor, said he prayed with the Blackshire family after they viewed the video earlier in the day.