The family of Aderrien Murry has filed a federal lawsuit demanding a trial and millions of dollars in punitive damages after Aderrien was shot by a police officer.
A cop shot Aderrien in the chest while responding to a domestic disturbance call at the 11-year-old boy’s home on Saturday, May 20.
The complaint names the city of Indianola, Mississippi, Indianola Police Chief Ronald Sampson, and the responding cop, Officer Greg Capers, as defendants stating that the named parties “breached their duty to monitor, care for, and provide necessary safety to all civilians, by deliberately shooting an unarmed 11-year-old.”
The suit, obtained by Atlanta Black Star, states that Officer Capers used excessive and negligent force against Aderrien in the shooting, depriving them of their Fourth and 14th Amendment rights. It also cites that the defendants recklessly endangered and disregarded the lives of Aderrien and his family members and are liable for civil assault and battery.
Indianola officers were called to Aderrien’s home around 4 a.m. on May 20 after the father of one of Aderrien’s siblings arrived in an “irate” state, according to Aderrien’s mother Nakala Murry. Aderrien’s mother instructed him to call the police. Aderrien, his mother, and two other children were home that morning.
When Capers arrived, he approached the front door of the home with his gun drawn and requested everyone inside to exit. The suit states that 11-year-old Aderrien was coming around the corner of a hallway into the living room area to come out of the home when Officer Capers fired his gun and shot him in the chest.
“It felt like a Taser, like a big punch to the chest,” he told the news outlet of the shooting. “I was bleeding — bleeding from my mouth. Then I would just remember singing a song,” Aderrien told ABC News.
Aderrien suffered severe injuries including a collapsed lung, fractured ribs, and a lacerated liver, and was sent to the hospital. He had to be given a chest tube and was placed on a ventilator. Following his treatment, he was released on May 24.
CNN’s Nick Valencia said the boy was noticeably short of breath when he spoke to him on May 30. Aderrien also told the reporter that he could no longer play with his friends and that he has problems sleeping at night.
“I could’ve lost my life all because of you,” Aderrien told CNN.
“I can see myself lying inside the coffin. Them all my thoughts at night,” he continued.
The complaint also notes inaction on the part of the Indianola Police Department to penalize or discipline Officer Capers following other “numerous complaints” connected to “incidents of abuse” and “excessive force.” The lack of discipline and investigation of Capers’ actions over the years led to “the creation of an environment of excessive force and violence,” the suit states.
The fallout of the shooting left the family in emotional and mental anguish, according to the suit. The family is demanding at least $5 million in compensatory, punitive damages and “any recovery to be determined by a jury and allowed under applicable state or federal law and guidelines.
The family also demanded that bodycam footage of the police response to the domestic call and the subsequent shooting be released. No charges have been filed, and Officer Capers is currently on paid administrative leave.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is still investigating the shooting. Once the agency’s investigation is complete, the agency will turn over its findings to the state attorney general’s office.