A Little Rock police officer is charged with manslaughter for the death of a fifteen-year-old. An investigation by the Little Rock Police Department found that Officer Josh Hastings used unnecessary deadly force on the teenager who was killed last month.
The incident happened on August 12th when Hastings responded to a call about suspicious activity at the Shadow Lake Apartments on West Markham. He found the victim and two others in a stolen car.
He claimed that after identifying himself, the victim then started driving toward him. Hastings said he felt his life was in danger and that is why he shot and killed the teen. The problem is evidence shows that the victim was actually driving away from him. I spoke to the officer's lawyer today. He says the evidence will show that Hastings was left with no other option.
"Well what I know is that this police officer was basically protecting us the people of Little Rock when this happened. He was put in danger he felt like he had to protect himself," said Bill James, Josh Hastings' Attorney.
Hastings also has number suspensions on his record for various incidents. His lawyer says disciplinary action is normal and it is irrelevant to the case.
I mean disciplinaries come. I mean that's part of being a law enforcement officer. If you're out there doing the job hitting the streets every day you're going to have them. disciplinaries are going to happen. I mean it's just part of the job," said James.
James said he will argue that they jury not see Hastings' record. Hastings is currently on administrative leave.