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Two Arkansas cops who fired shots at a black teen pointing a BB gun at police outside an emergency youth center in July won't face criminal charges, a prosecutor announced Wednesday.
Marion police officers Brannon Hinkle and Wesley Smith, both of whom are white, were justified in using lethal force when firing their weapons at 16-year-old Aries Clark outside the East Arkansas Youth Services on July 25, attorney Scott Ellington said.
The prosecutor released body cam footage of Clark holding what appears to be a weapon. Ellington said the teen pointed a BB gun at police before being fatally shot.
“Get on the ground man, we don't want to do this," one police officer ordered off-camera "This is not what you want to do."
Ellington wrote a letter to head of the Arkansas State Police saying Clark’s actions that day had “threatened the lives of at least four law enforcement officers had the gun he brandished been a firearm, as was perceived by the responding officers, and I cannot find that the officers acted criminally.”
Vickie Burks, Clark’s grandmother, said not charging the officers was “unfair and unreasonable,” noting that her grandson wasn’t violent.
“If you're a trained police officer, you can injure someone and not kill them,” she said.
Clark family attorney Kim Cole said her office is reviewing the footage and will conduct its own investigation.
Smith fired four shots at the teen, striking him in the back of the head, back and buttocks. Hinkle fired his weapon twice without hitting Clark, Ellington said.
The officers were put on administrative leave and will return to work, Marion Police Chief Gary Kelley said.
With News Wire Services
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Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ark-cops-fatal-shooting-teen-won-face-criminal-charges-article-1.3401149