Bradley Blackshire (2019)

From LEO Ratings

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Overview

On February 22, 2019, Little Rock Arkansas Police Department Officer Charles Starks responded to a report of a stolen vehicle.[1] Bradley Blackshire had parked the vehicle, but attempted to drive away after Starks approached. Starks fired into the moving vehicle. Officer Michael Simpson arrived during the shooting and drove his police car into Blackshire's car. Blackshire died at the scene.[2][3][4]

Methamphetamines, PCP, marijuana, and cocaine were found in Blackshire's body, according to an investigative file released by the Arkansas police department. A stolen handgun was recovered at the scene.[4]

Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley ruled that the shooting was justifiable.[2]

During the shooting, Starks moved in front of the car, which was a violation of departmental rules.[2]

On March 7, 2019, Mayor Scott announced that the criminal investigations had been completed by the department and that findings had been submitted to prosecutors for review. Scott also stated that the FBI was looking into the killing on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice.[5]

In May 2019, Police Chief Keith Humphrey fired Starks, over objections from other officers in the chain of command. The Civil Service Commission upheld that firing, which Starks appealed to the Circuit Court.[1][6]

On June 10, 2019, relatives of Blackshire filed a lawsuit against the city, Starks, and Simpson, including claims of excessive use of force, the city's failure to train officers, violation of the state's Civil Right Act, assault and battery, and wrongful death.[7][8] The lawsuit sought to go back 10 years for information about the department's training and use of force, and the judge indicated he was going to allow it. Mediation was abandoned after the the city's lawyers discovered that the Blackshire family was seeking $5 million in damages.[9]

On January 2, 2020, Circuit Judge Tim Fox ordered Starks to be reinstated, but with a pay reduction. The city planned to appeal the reinstatement. Starks received a 30-day suspension and reduction in salary, which he appealed.[2][1]

In May 2020, Starks sued the city and Mayor, claiming that the investigation was rushed. Starks complained that the city had limited his duties, kept his gun and badge and otherwise treated him unfairly.[10]

On September 11, 2020, Starks resigned.[6]

On September 8th, 2021, the Arkansas Court of Appeals reversed Circuit Judge Tim Fox’s decision overruling the firing of Starks.[1]

On October 7th, 2021, it was announced that a settlement had been reached in the lawsuit filed by Blackshire's family against the city.[11]

On October 19, 2021, the settlement was approved by a Circuit Court judge, which was required as three of the beneficiaries are minors. The settlement must still be signed and forwarded to federal court. The settlement totaled $300,000 [12] and requires additional departmental training on use of force and de-escalation tactics.[9]

Video

March 7, 2019, Mayor Scott's Press Conference

LRPD release video of Bradley Blackshire officer-involved shooting

Officers Involved


Official Reports

Additional Sources

References