The attorney representing the family of the 11-year-old Mississippi boy who was shot by a police officer while responding to a domestic violence call is demanding the officer be fired and charged with the shooting.
Attorney Carlos Moore told Newsweek in a phone interview that Aderrien Murray “came within an inch of losing his life” on Saturday morning when Indianola police officer Greg Capers shot the little boy in the chest. Aderrien had called 911 for help, and the officer was responding to the domestic disturbance call when the shooting occurred.
Moore identified the police officer as Capers. However, Newsweek was not able to independently verify this as the Indianola Police Chief Edrick Hall was unavailable for comment Wednesday night. Newsweek reached out via email to Mayor Ken Featherstone.
The Washington Post gathered data on police shootings and found that “Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for roughly 14 percent of the U.S. population and are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.”
“I have a 12-year-old daughter and anybody with a child that small, you just can’t imagine them being shot by a cop in the chest for no reason,” Moore said to Newsweek. “There’s no way Aderrien was a threat to this man or that man could have even perceived him as a threat. He’s a little boy with nothing in his hands and following commands. It just makes no sense.”
If the city does not terminate Capers, who has since been suspended, Moore said Aderrien’s family and supporters plan to hold a sit-in at Indianola City Hall at 9 a.m. on Thursday. He said they want to see criminal charges filed against Capers as well. He also plans to file a federal civil lawsuit on Tuesday against Indianola City and police department officials.
He shared details of the sit-in on Twitter with the hashtag: #JusticeForAderrienMurry.
Aderrien had to be airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he was treated for a collapsed lung, fractured ribs and a lacerated liver, in addition to other injuries, Moore said. He’s now recovering at home and will seek therapy for the emotional toll the shooting left on him.
“No citizen, no child in Indianola should be in this terrifying condition because of the actions of someone who’s allegedly the best cop in Indianola,” Moore said. “If he’s your best, Indianola, you need to clean house from top to bottom. I’m calling on the mayor to take this case seriously.”
Moore, who said there were two other children in the home at the time, said the police department has not released body camera footage or footage from a nearby gas station. However, he said there was no reason for Capers to think Aderrien was a threat because he was following orders, did not have anything in his hands and is a “small child” and does “not look like a man.”
Indianola, a small town in the Mississippi Delta about 100 miles from Jackson, has a predominantly African American population.
“I know that race is always a factor in a lot of these cases. The interesting thing about Indianola is it is run by a majority of Blacks,” Moore said. “And so here you have a Black officer that has apparently shot a young Black boy and they will not immediately terminate the officer.”
Moore told Newsweek that officials from the police department and city still have not apologized to Aderrien’s family.
Moore referred to Capers as a “bad apple,” and said the officer still has not been disciplined for allegedly “Tazing” another client of his while the man was in handcuffs in December 2022.
Aderrien’s mother, Nakala Murry, told CNN that the father of one of her other children was “irate” when he came home Saturday morning. She told the outlet that she was concerned about her safety and asked Aderrien to call 911. When the officer arrived, he “had his gun drawn at the front door and asked those inside the home to come outside.”
Murry said to CNN that the boy was shot as he came around the corner of a hallway.
“Once he came from around the corner, he got shot,” she said. “I cannot grasp why. The same cop that told him to come out of the house. [Aderrien] did, and he got shot. He kept asking, ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do wrong?'” she said.
The shooting of an unarmed child sparked a wave outrage on social media, with Twitter users joining the calls for Capers to be ousted.
“This mother deserves answers about her boy,” one Twitter user said.
“An 11 year old boy was shot by a Mississippi police officer over the weekend. This is horrific. Sadly, I am no longer surprised by these incidents. #AderrienMurry #gregcapers #Indianola,” another person tweeted.