Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No Charges Against West Memphis Police in Killing of DeAuntae Farrow

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2007 at 4:00 AM

A special prosecutor for the Arkansas State Police announced that a criminal investigation into the June 22nd West Memphis police killing of 12-year-old DeAuntae Farrow turned up no evidence to support criminal charges against West Memphis police officer Erik Sammis, who shot the boy, or his partner Jimmy Ellis.

Sammis and Ellis were staking out an apartment complex next to the one Farrow lived in, when they saw Farrow and his cousin playing nearby. The officers claim that they mistook Farrow's toy pistol for a real gun in the dark. They ordered the boys to lay down. Farrow's cousin obliged, officers say, but Farrow did not, and instead moved toward the officers and raised the toy gun, prompting Sammis to fire.

H.G. Foster, the special prosecutor, said at a press conference today, that officers followed protocol. The state investigation of the shooting is closed. Federal investigators earlier found no evidence to support prosecuting Sammis for violating Farrow's civil rights. A $125 million civil suit by Farrow's mother against the West Memphis police is still pending.

Foster said that Farrow's last words were, "It's just a toy."

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