November 24, 2007

Killing of DeAunta Farrow

Villagers, I feel foolish for not knowing about DeAunta Farrow until this morning. DeAunta is a 12-year old Black boy that was shot and killed by a police officer in West Memphis, AR earlier this year. Young DeAunta was in his own neighborhood, his mother knew where he was and what he was doing, he was with one family member going to another family member's residence and was not engaged in any illegal activity. DeAunta was loved and cared for.

Now he is dead.

The powers-that-be in Arkansas have declared that the police officer was not wrong for killing this young boy. The police officer, Sgt. Erik Sammis, claims that he thought the youngster had a gun. A plastic toy gun was placed into evidence at the scene, however, the boy's family indicate that the toy gun was placed on the scene by someone friendly to the police department.

Our thanx to the Police Brutality Blog and Thaddeus Matthews Dot Com for beating the drums about this case.

One lesson that we can all take from this case is to remind our children not to walk the streets with play guns or any type of gun in their hands, waist, or on themselves at all. We know now that they take their lives and place it into the hands of a cop, and they could be killed.

In any case, Villagers, have you heard about this case? Am I wrong in wondering whether this young boy would still be alive if he didn't have as much melanin in his skin?


Anonymous said...

Am I wrong in wondering whether this young boy would still be alive if he didn't have as much melanin in his skin?

Yes, you are. From an officer's standpoint it doesn't matter what skin color points a gun at me. I will defend myself.

The fact that it was a toy gun was of no relevance at that moment, since there was no way the officer could know that.

I'm not saying police misconduct doesn't happen. I am saying it didn't happen this time.

Jamie said...

Whether the child had a toy gun or not, I would have to question the officer's conduct when confronting a child obviously that young. I'll see if I can find more details on the case for you.

Jamie said...

Here's a link with some more detail Farrow

Apparently it is still under investigation and the FBI has come in on the investigation.

Villager said...

The Truth Hurts - I appreciate your candor. What is the answer? It simply doesn't seem like police training and procedures should allow for a 12-year old boy to be shot to death when he wasn't doing anything at all. Out of curiousity, if the officer had a taser gun, instead of a pistol, would that have made a difference as you understand the physical facts of the case?

Villager said...

Jamie - Thank you for the link to the article about the young boy's cousin (who was with him at the time).

That Girl Boo said...

death of a youngest is never right, especially when the child isn't attacking you, the problem is cops get tired just like everyone else but when they make mistakes the entire police force go rushing behind that person no matter if they were right or wrong, and that's just wrong, and of course skin color plays a role but no one likes to admit this, that poor childs mother

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right that had he been melanin deficient he would probably still be breathing. Our babies are dying at an alarming rate yet no-one but us seem to care.
I am currently reading Race Matters by Cornel West. In it he states that the problem with the way White America views the black problem is that they don't see it as a societal problem.
This is why it is necessary to say DeAunta Flow is a dead baby whose life mattered.

Villager said...

Boo and Ingrid - Thank you for sharing your village voice with us. I'm simply sorry that I didn't know about this young boy's death earlier. I understand that his family is suing the police department.

MsMarvalus said...

A baby this young should be given some discretion, police should have some patience, should think before is far to easy for them to shoot now and ask questions later...there is a difference between defending yourself and reacting prematurely...

Villager said...

MsMarvalus - Had you heard of this story before?

Anonymous said...

Villager, while I understand the question about confronting a child that young, I have to ask you all...what would you have the officer do? The child had a toy gun indistiguishable from a real one...and there are many documented cases of "children" having and using real guns.

He had what appeared to be a gun. He did not put it down when ordered. Had the officer done anything other than what he did he risked being killed himelf based on the facts as he knew them.

You tell me - would you use a taser against a real gun? It takes much less time to fire a gun than to discharge the Taser darts and then deliver the charge.

I've looked at both sides of this case this week on my blog. It's sad all around.

What bothers me about this is that there could have been lessons learned on both sides.

Unfortunately, the charlatans have come marching in and now that will never happen.

old white guy said...

msmarvalus said, "...there is a difference between defending yourself and reacting prematurely..."

That about sums it up. But if we back up a bit: Why in the hell were these police jumping out on two children in the first place? How stupid is it for the police to put themselves in the position of having to defend themselves? Did they not have flashlights? Could they not have called for backup if these children were such a threat?

Premature conclusion are often premature but, based on the information available now, the killing of this child is not defensible. What the family must be going through!

Villager said...

The Truth Hurts - There is still room to learn. You and I are talking across the miles here in cyberspace. Villagers that never knew about the story or your blog now have a chance to learn about both. It's slow ... but I figure as long as we are talking we are learning. Anyhow, I appreciate your insights about the case. The issue of police- community relations when compounded by issues of race relations ... it is quite frustrating. But, if not us ... who?

Villager said...

Old White Guy - Thanks for sharing your village voice. I do invite you to follow the links to THE TRUTH HURTS blog as he is closer to the situation than we are here. It is a tragic situation. How do we stem the flow of blood between police and the Black community?