Monday, July 15, 2013

Fatal police shooting followed by angry protests as crowd gathers

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 3:35 PM

AT THE SCENE: Demonstrators react angrily to police shooting in Little Rock image
  • Brian Chilson
  • AT THE SCENE: Demonstrators react angrily to police shooting.

Reporting by David Koon and Brian Chilson:

A Little Rock police officer killed a man who reportedly pulled a gun on him during a foot chase near 12th and Jefferson Street about 11:30 a.m. today.

Details remain murky, but the shooting drew a large crowd of neighbors and others to the majority black neighborhood where hand-made signs quickly appeared criticizing the police for past uses of deadly force. City Manager Bruce Moore, who went to the scene along with Police Chief Stuart Thomas, said the events were unrelated, but he told Fox 16's David Goins, "I think part of what happened in Florida over the weekend has spilled over here." He referred to the Trayvon Martin slaying verdict. Protest signs made reference to police shootings of "black boys."

A law enforcement source said the incident began when a two-man patrol unit — Terry McDaniel and Grant Humphries — tried to stop an SUV on 12th Street. The vehicle was on a "hot" list — suspected of being stolen. When they asked the driver to get out of the vehicle for unspecified reasons, he ran. McDaniel chased on foot and Humphries followed in the car. McDaniel caught up with the man in the yard of a house roughly between 11th and 12th, east of Jefferson Street. According to our source, McDaniel said the man pulled a gun — he'd earlier thrown other objects from his pocket, some appearing to be drugs. McDaniel fired, perhaps at least two shots. The suspect's gun was not fired.

There apparently were no other witnesses to the shooting. As is customary, the officers were separated, provided counsel and taken to different places to be interviewed.

Our source said a gun that the dead man was allegedly carrying was tagged as evidence at the scene. It appeared to be a nine-millimeter pistol.

UPDATE: The police statement on the shooting is reprinted on the jump. The agency is not confirming identities of the officers other than to say they are four- and five-year veterans of the force. The account said a gun had fallen out of the suspect's waistband and when he picked it up the officer fired three times. The department confirmed that the SUV the shooting victim was driving was NOT stolen, a suspicion that had put the deadly chain of events in motion.

Given the angry crowds that gathered and the racial comments made by some of them, it is relevant to note that McDaniel is a black officer. He has used deadly force at least once before. McDaniel, 25, fatally shot a man who pulled a gun on him when interrupted during a daytime home burglary on Thayer Street. The burglar had earlier fatally shot one man and wounded another at the home.

A large crowd gathered as a State Police helicopter circled over the scene. A person who identified himself as a civil rights lawyer urged the crowd to be calm.

Demonstrators at scene of Little Rock police shooting

One man held a sign that said "Justice 4 Bobby Moore." Former Little Rock police officer Josh Hastings was charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting Moore, a teen-aged car burglary suspect. Last month, a hung jury led to a mistrial in the Hastings trial. Aside from a police officer doing the shooting, today's incident and the Moore case are unrelated.

David Koon reports that the clerk at gas station where many of the demonstrators gathered locked the doors of the gas station to keep people out. One man threw tea and an empty can on the door in frustration. Otherwise, he reports the anger has mostly been contained.

INSTANT PROTEST: One of many signs that appeared within an hour or so of police shooting.
  • Brian Chilson
  • INSTANT PROTEST: One of many signs that appeared within an hour or so of police shooting.

YOU DIDNT HAVE TO SHOOT HIM: Woman at left sobs over shooting of man she said was her husband.
  • Brian Chilson
  • 'YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO SHOOT HIM': Woman at left sobs over shooting of man she said was her husband.
About 2:30 p.m., a woman who identified herself as Chastity Duffy was walking along the south side of 12th Street, supporting a sobbing woman who said she was the wife of the man who was killed. Duffy identified the man who was killed as Deon Williams, 26. Police later confirmed his name.

"We just picked him up from Tucker two months ago," Duffy said. "He was just trying to do what was right for his wife and kids. He didn't do nothing."

"You didn't have to kill him," the sobbing woman said. "Trayvon wasn't enough? You didn't have to fucking kill him. You didn't have to kill him. You didn't have to fucking kill him. Fucking pigs. Motherfucking pigs. Just because we're in the ghetto?"

Over and over, the weeping woman said: "Can anybody tell me what I'm supposed to tell my kids?"

UPDATE: She later told KATV that the SUV the man was driving was hers and was not stolen.

The angry response prompted the police to barricade 12th Street for more than an hour. Officers were instructed not to go into the gathered crowd.

A woman held a sign with several names, including Bobby Moore's, that said, "Murdered by the LRPD."

One man taunted the cops, saying, "What if it was your kid going down the alley? Y'all ain't perfect."

Another man shouted, "Fuck America! That's how I feel."

About 3 p.m. police tried for a time to make the crowd disperse as an "unlawful assembly," but then stopped. Few people were leaving. At least one TV station broadcast live from the scene.

At 3:30 p.m., the police largely withdrew from the scene. A SWAT unit left as did the crime scene investigators and most of the dozens of officers who turned out when the crowd gathered. Only a small handful was left at 3:37 p.m. Police Chief Thomas remained on the scene. A large crowd of onlookers remained, but they were more subdued than they had been earlier and some left. A few cans and bottles were thrown earlier in the direction of officers. And, as Thomas wrapped things up, another plastic drink bottle was thrown into the group gathered around the chief.

After the bottle throwing, Thomas said: "It is what it is. It'll calm down once we're gone."

That appeared to be the case.

BLUE LINE: Officers were out in force as crowd gathered at scene of police shooting.
  • Fox 16
  • BLUE LINE: Officers were out in force as crowd gathered at scene of police shooting.


Deon Williams
  • Deon Williams
On July 15, 2013, at approximately 11:40 a.m. officers of the Little Rock Police Department were on patrol in the area of 12th and Jonesboro Street when they observed a black Chevy Suburban that they thought matched the description of one they had seen on the LRPD stolen vehicle alert sheet. According to officers, the marked police vehicle passed the Suburban and the officers observed that it had what they thought was an expired license plate. The officers pulled over to let the vehicle pass them, however the vehicle had pulled over and stopped on the side of the street. After waiting for a short period of time the officers decided to turn around and make contact with the driver since the vehicle was not moving. As the officers were turning their vehicle around they observed the driver exit the driver's side of the Suburban. The subject began walking away and one of the officers observed a bulge in his waistband and he thought the subject was trying to conceal something. Officers asked the subject to walk over to their vehicle and at that point the subject began to flee. One officer began a foot pursuit and the other officer got in the patrol vehicle and attempted to cut the subject off. The officer on foot pursued the subject to the back yard of a house in the 1100 block of Adams Street. As the officer came around the corner of this yard he saw a handgun fall out of the subject’s waistband. The officer had his Taser out at the time and dropped it when he saw the handgun. He drew his service weapon and saw the subject pick up the handgun, look towards him, and start to get to his feet. At that point the officer feared for his life and fired his service weapon approximately three times. The subject fell to the ground and was taken into custody.

The suspect's weapon was recovered at the scene as was an unknown amount of narcotics. The suspect was transported to UAMS where he died from his wound(s). He was pronounced dead at 12:17 p.m. The subject was identified by fingerprints as Deon Williams (B/M 11/12/86).

The next of kin has been notified.

Pursuant to Little Rock Police Department General Orders, two separate investigations have been initiated into this matter. The first, conducted by the Department’s Major Crimes Division, will be submitted to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office when completed for a review and determination as to compliance with Arkansas law; the second, conducted by the Department’s Professional Standards Section, is charged with determining whether the officers involved acted in accordance with Departmental policies.

Both officers were placed on administrative leave as required by Department policy and the investigations are continuing.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Speaking of...

Comments (60)

Showing 1-50 of 60

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 60

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Transgender electrician may sue employer over her firing

    Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright has ruled that Patricia Dawson, a transgender woman, may pursue her lawsuit that she was wrongfully fired by her employer, H & H Electric, because of her sex.
    • Sep 16, 2015

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • Lee's lawyer writes about executed man's last hours

    Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.

Most Recent Comments




© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation