Imagine the followings: You’re an 11-year-old boy. There’s conflict in your house and you are scared, so you call 911 for help. The police arrive, and an officer draws his gun and orders everyone out of the house. So you do a you’re told, and the moment you come out, the officer shoots you in the chest.
That’s exactly what happened to Aderrien Murray, a boy living in Indianola, Mississippi. He was shot by an officer identified as Greg Capers, and though the boy “came within an inch of loosing his life,” thankfully he survived.
Why was he shot? Thats what everyone would like to know. He looks very much like a child, was unarmed, and had nothing in his hands. The child is black, (not that this should ever be a qualification for shooting someone), but so apparently was the officer who shot him. “Once he came from around the corner, he got shot,” says his mother, Nakala Murray. “I can’t grasp why. The same cop that told him to come out of the house. He did, and he got shot. He kept asking, ‘Why did he shoot me? What did I do wrong?'”
Every bit as inexplicable as the shooting is the fact that this officer, though he was suspended, still has not been fired 4 months later, despite his own department labeling him a bad seed. Not only should he be fired, but if he were anyone else besides a cop, the state would be bringing charges.
Cases such as this make me feel we should take guns out of the hands of police like many European nations do. Or maybe mandate they be kept in the car for special cases like school shootings or when they know another person is armed. That will probably never happen here in America, but people don’t realize that carrying guns is a net-negative for police, just as it is for everyday citizens: The number of accidents, mishaps, and unnecessary shootings outnumber the instances when a gun is legitimately used to protect the life of police or the public, and through the escalation principle, it also puts police themselves in greater danger. (Get our eBook Guns for Protection?, to learn more about this topic.)
Aderrien wasn’t the first child shot for no reason by police, and sadly, he won’t be the last. But we can do more to limit these situations.