Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Killing of Deaunta Farrow

West Memphis Policeman shot and killed 12-year-old Deaunta Farrow.

The victim, DeAunta Farrow, graduated from the sixth grade at Maddux Elementary School .

DeAunta Farrow was killed June 22, 2007 when he was shot by West Memphis Police Officer Erik Sammis. Arkansas investigators have ruled that there is not enough evidence to prosecute Sammis for the shooting.

UPDATE: Special prosecutors, assigned to investigate the shooting of 12-year-old DeAunta Farrow, made their entire case public More HERE

Farrow's attorney, Javier Bailey and representatives for NAN said they were disappointed in the outcome of the investigation.

Sammis told investigators he believed DeAunta was holding a gun the night he was killed. The investigation revealed the gun found near the shooting scene was a toy.

Farrow's family says they do not believe DeAunta was holding a toy gun. They say they believe the toy was planted. Deborah Farrow says she did not see the toy gun until after the state's investigation was complete.

Farrow also said the gun is a replica of those used by the West Memphis Police Department.

Deborah Farrow, mother of slain DeAunta Farrow, says she is disappointed in the outcome of the AR State Police's investigation.

Deborah Farrow, mother of slain DeAunta Farrow, says she is disappointed in the outcome of the AR State Police's investigation.

Farrow also believes race played a role in the outcome of the investigation. She feels if the situation were reversed, with a black officer shooting a white child, she believes there would have been no investigation. She said the officer would have been arrested, not just relieved of duty with pay as Sammis was. Farrow questions why Sammis was able to continue to receive pay during the investigation.

The father of Unseld Nance also spoke during the news conference. Unseld Nance, Jr. was with DeAunta the night of the shooting. Nance, Sr. says he did not know where his son was until after police began questioning him. He feels police forced his son to answer questions in the manner in which he did.

Farrow's attorney and the NAN say they plan to fight the state's decision and also say a major announcement will be made Monday, November 26. Details of the announcement have not been released, but representatives say it is in regards to their investigation.

AAPP says: If this is a cover-up, which is the case many times with these types of shootings of black kids in urban communities, then these officers need to be prosecuted. It looks like a good ol' boy, it was only a black, red-neck cover-up to me.

If this is a case of a kid carrying a play gun,
well, all parents Black parents need to teach their kids not to walk the streets with play guns or any type of gun in their hands, waist, or on themselves at all, the fact of the matter is they take their lives and place it into the hands of a cop, and they could be killed. More from my eye witness

1 comment:

Francis L. Holland Blog said...


Thank you for posting the case of Deaunta Farrow at the AfroSpear Police Brutality blog. This case demonstrates why, regardless of complex issues of proof and guilt and liability in cases of police brutality and unequal justice, this is an issue that WILL NOT GO AWAY and that must stay on the front burner of the afrosphere.

Juan Williams can assert all he wants that there is a gulf between the Black rich and poor, but the afrosphere's advocacy in cases like this shows that we all know where our interests are one and the same. We are all just a whim away from a casket as long as police value Black lives less than white ones.

The facts in police brutality and unequal justice cases are often not completely clearly, frequently because the police themselves, who are first on the scene, hide and obscure information that would prove their culpability. What's usually is clear is that one more Black person is dead because a police officer shot them, often when they were unarmed. And if the person shot dead was white instead of Black, then s/he'd still be alive.

That's why the burden must always on the police and the justice system to show that their actions were warranted rather than on Black people to show that the actions were unwarranted.

In fact, I believe that Black people should join with conservatives (on this issue) to oppose increased wages, benefits and equipment for police forces that do not support systems of full accountability for police actions, including elected police oversight boards.