February 10, 2009

Civil Case Moves Forward in Shooting of DeAunta Farrow

A doctor lost an eye when his car was blown up in his West Memphis, Arkansas driveway. West Memphis does not seem like a good place to live. Villagers will remember that we reported on the killing of 12-year old DeAunta Farrow in West Memphis a couple of years ago.

The police officer that shot him resigned. The Arkansas Supreme Court put a halt to any criminal prosecution.

As we all learned through OJ Simpson ... it's not over when the criminal justice system is finished. At that point folks can go for justice in civil court.

A federal judge says a lawsuit against the West Memphis police officers who were involved in the shooting death of 12 year-old DeAunta Farrow can proceed to trial.

U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller dismissed the case against West Memphis Police Chief Robert Paudert, Mayor William Johnson and the city in the death of DeAunta Farrow. But Miller said claims that Erik Sammis and Jimmy Evans used excessive force could go forward.

Sammis, who fired the shot that killed Farrow, has been cleared of any wrongdoing in federal, state and special investigations. He has since resigned from the department. State police concluded officer shot the boy because he was holding a toy gun that appeared to be real.

Is it something in the West Memphis water?


Words For Hire said...

I pray that this family gets justice in civil court. Nothing can explain the murder of this child, and it is sad that criminal actions were halted. More importantly, I hope that raised voices will finally be heard - why are the children "mistakenly" gunned down by police always African American? Surely many children of every race and culture have toy guns?


Villager said...

Karen - I join you in hoping for justice on behalf of the Farrow family. Our blog will continue to share updates on this case as we learn about it...

DNLee said...

I think this is a very sad case. But it is also serves as a reason why I think the idea of guns or weapons as toys of play is inappropriate. I'm not against guns. I'm not against even young people learning to use guns, rifles, or even knives properly. But they are not toys and I don't think the industry should make toy look alikes of these serious weapons/tools.

Villager said...

DN Lee - I agree. I didn't let my children have toy guns in our house when they were younger. And we rarely let them watch television shows or cartoons that featured gunplay.

I am probably atypical ... but, I've never even shot a gun in my five decades of life...