Radazz Hearns, 14, however, survived the shooting, unlike 15-year-old Andre Green.
Hearns is in stable condition at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.
The lawyer for the family, Samuel A. Anyan Jr, says that the child was shot five times in the right leg, once in the left leg. He currently still has a bullet lodged in his pelvis.
“He’s lucky to be alive,” Anyan explained. “We’ll be seeking justice. This appears to be an unjustified shooting.”
NJ.com reports that “Two State Police troopers and a Mercer County sheriff’s officer were responding to a report of shots fired at the Prospect Village apartments when they encountered three males walking along Louise Lane, according to the Attorney General’s office, which is investigating the shooting.”
Police added that “The three officers got out of their vehicle to question the trio and the 14-year-old ran, authorities said. Witnesses told authorities they saw the teen reach for his waistband before one of the troopers and the sheriff’s officer opened fire, the Attorney General’s office has said.”
Cops are trying to pin a .22-caliber handgun that was found far from the scene of the shooting, a full 12 hours later, on the victim, according to the Attorney General’s office.
The Attorney General’s Office refused to reveal how many times the youth was shot, but local reports say that there appears to have been “at least 10 shots” fired by officers.
Hearns was hit seven times, according to Anyan. There were two other rounds that were visible in a nearby car and another in the siding of a building nearby.
Anyan says that all eye-witnesses he has spoken with confirm that Hearns never had a gun and the police are lying.
Rhonda Tirado was in sitting front of her Trenton home Friday around 10:20 p.m. when she saw an unmarked gray minivan abruptly stop across the street and three police officers got out to question the trio of teens.
She saw Hearns, who she only knows by his nickname “Rha Rha,” run from the officers, and then the gunfire erupted, she said.
“Those police were amped and they didn’t give that little boy a chance,” Tirado said Wednesday, while re-enacting the shooting where the encounter started. “There was no room for no chase. They just shot that little boy right there.”
Peter Aseltine, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s office, said “our priority is to conduct an absolutely careful, thorough and fair investigation,” Aseltine said, claiming that they would talk to these eye-witnesses that police have so far ignored and refused to interview.
NJ reports that “Tirado said she didn’t see Hearns with a gun. As he turned and ran, Tirado said she saw him grab his red sweatpants to keep them from falling.”
“I don’t think those little boys had no clue what was going on,” Tirado added. “I think they was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Tirado said she saw the three teens pass her residence about 15 minutes before the shooting. As they returned on Louise Lane, they were laughing, joking and didn’t appear to be in a hurry before the minivan stopped, Tirado said.
Anyan said his understanding of Hearns’ encounter with police Friday night is that the officers were not in standard police uniform and emerged from an unmarked vehicle.
Anyan said that officers have some explaining to do, for instance, “why they were trying to execute a 14-year-old boy. You don’t have the right to be judge, jury and executioner.”
Bookmark this page and check back for updates, as this story is just beginning to unfold.
(Article by S. Wooten, Reagan Ali and M. David)
Radioman's commentary on the sorry state of police powers and what to do about it....
Now that the dust has settled in Ferguson we know more. The kid killed by the cop might have assaulted him...we can't know without video. We can't know if he was a gentle giant' or a thug.
BUT WE CAN't KNOW the St Louis prosecutor had no stomach to go after a cop, given how badly prosecutors need cops to make their cases in court. He had powers and knowlege not of us CAN know unless he tells us. Oh well.
POLICE MURDER IN NEW YORK. Unlike the ciggy murder that same week IN NYC, which was as much of a TV murder as Jack Ruby shooting JFK killer Lee Harvey Oswald on LIVE TV. That one should have gone to trial and my eyes would have convicted those deliberate bully cops in a HEART BEAT. Those NYC cops were out of control and acting like a GANG and every one of them touching that guy should have been charged with MURDER just like citizens are charged all the time for their bit parts in a criminal death! Do you need to see it again?
Today's police culture is SICK and Unacceptable.
But every week, we get another one of these cases as we patiently await lapel cams all over the country and efforts to clean up the cops riding rampant on our streets. Surely the GOOD cops just hate these cases from their bully colleagues!
If the 'good cops', the ones we want to look up to, our dads and brothers and sons in the work, THEY need to help fix it. There's a cancer growing, let's help the good cops FIX IT through law and procedure. They can't do it alone... the police defensive culture is too strong.
BACK TO THE CASE. It seems to me that shooting an unarmed kid, even if close-to- full- adult size should be assumed to have been wrongful...and POLICE NEED TO PROVE WITH EVIDENCE just like anyone else with blood on their knuckles.
We need to STOP ASSUMING POLICE are RIGHTEOUS any longer. They have destroyed that assumption with so many videos of wrongdoing!
That includes physical evidence that arrested people were obviously beaten without similar wounds on police. That seems like prima facia evidence of excessive force, which I assume is criminal assault by definition. If they can't do that, then they're not brave enough to be cops. Nobody said its easy, right? Bless the Hill Street Blues ones who hit the street with GOOD INTENT!
When more body cams happen and forensics more objective along with IA departments dedicated to cleaning the riff raff out of policing, we'll get it. And wrong doers will end up with very long prison sentences. It's absolutely not enough to be fired! Again, why do we assume that RESISTING ARREST is really only about citizens RESISTING FURTHER POLICE PAIN, given the "Get on the ground, get on the ground NOW" mentality they practice during arrests?
How we've accepted the POLICE answer to policing our society....
- It seems police are too quick to defend themselves with fatal force.
- We all know their culture is such that it's just not IN POLICEMEN to lose ANY confrontation. They ALWAYS have to WIN every confrontation.
- They just can't work with axx-holes among us by being in a defensive or apologetic position; the criminals WILL kill our police if they CAN. A horrible, unaceptable reality.
- Me, I would NOT want to have to decide in a split second to shoot, or NOT shoot, to CUFF or NOT to cuff. To ARREST or NOT to arrest. Is it about respect to police authority, or the actual level of wrongdoing? This is what a recent prosecutor asked.... "is it worth arresting someone for a missing front license plate?
- But like our soldiers in combat, that's EXACTLY what we want them trained to EVALUATE BEFORE an arrest!
I know. It's very hard. Don't do it without backup. Sadly, when alone and no one is watching, the bully cops seem to have to make it hurt, physically or financially with citizens. Obviously the bullies and their victims DO grow up! Seen the videos too many times.
WHY ARE TODAY'S POLICE caught being abusive SO IMPATIENT to wait for backup? given that most abusive cases seem only ONE-On-One? Maybe the secretiveness is the key! Bullies want to BULLY ALONE with no colleagues around? What da YOU think? Is a policy change in order?
Guess they think they can be prixs and not get caught? We'd be WAY MORE trusting of our public servants if theyd FIRST get rid of the bullies that we see so often on video! Why aren't the POLICE BULLIES GONE ALREADY?
Bullies are that arrogant, as we remember from high school. Again, bullies grow up and become absusive bosses, and more scary, abusive cops with GUNS on public payroll. (Side note: how can anyone be surprised about the Columbine Colorado mass shootings by nerds against the jocks, as predictable as they were? Did NONE of you watch Revenge of the Nerds?)
We can't LET THEM INTO public police service.
HOW can America PROTECT itself from an abusive military force?
This is why society needs to force a PROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONAL organization to be CREATED. Not a protectionist union, Not a police protection association which many departments have created. (We've noticed police are more interested today "To Protect and Serve" ThemSELVES!
It's in Congress' best interest ON BEHALF OF THE CITIZENRY to establish national policing standards, like medical people...a real certification with letters after their names attesting to ANNUAL minimum formal classroom training in how to handle people, in citizen rights, court cases, deescalating situations. Keeping a healthy attitude around so much negativity, And community policing. And culling out their bullies who find themselves attracted to law enforcement.
Essentially, we have to find a way to UNDO what their military drill instructors turned them into, which is a killer force. They can start by growing their hair out to match most everyones. This robocop crap will stop or it will turn out very bad for them.
I'm sure states' rightists would like this at the state level, but surely we've discovered STATES have different views of Constitutional protection. Maybe this isn't a battle they want to wage! Maybe so long as only BLACK PEOPLE loose their rights, it's not an issue.
But ya know sympathy can change in a HEARTBEAT. One attractive white kid killed on TV by abusive cops will change EVERYTHING! Politicians should be very careful what they say on tape for it would certainly come back to bite them into election defeat!