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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Oliver Milman

Family of 11-year-old boy shot by officer sue Mississippi police and authorities

Aderrien Murry
Aderrien Murry sang the gospel song No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prosper in the moments after he was shot. Photograph: AP

The family of an 11-year-old boy who was shot and seriously injured by a police officer in Mississippi is filing a federal lawsuit against police and city authorities.

A police officer responding to a 911 call shot Aderrien Murry on 20 May in the city of Indianola, causing the child to suffer a collapsed lung, fractured ribs and a lacerated liver. The boy was released from hospital last Wednesday.

Greg Capers, the officer who shot Aderrien, was placed on paid leave pending an investigation by the Mississippi bureau of investigation.

The family lawsuit alleges police were negligent and used excessive force when responding to a call about a domestic disturbance at the home of Aderrien and his mother, after her former partner turned up at the property.

“If I had not been informed about the case I would not have believed that this could be possible. A trained officer shooting an unarmed 11-year-old?” Carlos Moore, the attorney representing the family, told CNN.

“For him to do this, to shoot a boy that obeyed his commands, he came out with his hands up, and get shot in the chest? Unheard of.”

Aderrien said that he exited the house with hands in the air after the police were informed no one there had a gun.

“I just tried to follow the police commands but I guess that didn’t work,” he told CNN.

The boy sang the gospel song No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prosper in the moments after he was shot and started bleeding from his mouth, he told the network.

“Sometimes, I can see myself laying inside the coffin. Those are my thoughts at night, my only ones,” Aderrien said. “Sometimes I think people are watching me. But my main thought is me dead, inside the coffin.”

Aderrien said he suffers from pain, has trouble breathing and is not able to run or jump. Police have not provided any further details on the incident. The family is seeking $5m in damages.

Research has shown that Black children in the US are six times more likely to be shot to death by police than their white peers. Police have killed more than 100 children in the US since 2015, according to data compiled by the Washington Post.

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