Jury says officer who shot 11-year-old boy in the chest is not guilty of criminal conduct

Stephen Nartey December 18, 2023
Aderrien Murry/Photo credit: Family of Aderrien Murry

A Mississippi grand jury has decided not to indict Indianola Police Sgt. Greg Capers, who shot and wounded an unarmed 11-year-old boy, Aderrien Murry, during a response to a domestic dispute.

The incident which occurred on May 20 left Murry hospitalized with a collapsed lung, lacerated liver, and fractured ribs. The grand jury found that Sgt. Capers did not engage in criminal conduct. After the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office made the announcement, Murry’s family served notice of their intent to seek accountability through a federal civil lawsuit, according to a statement from their attorney, Carlos Moore.

“While the grand jury has spoken, we firmly believe that there are unanswered questions and that the shooting of Aderrien Murry was not justified,” Moore said. “We are committed to seeking justice for Aderrien and his family.”

Both Sgt. Capers and Murry are identified as Black individuals, according to CBS Jackson, Miss. affiliate WJTV.

Michael Carr, Capers’ attorney, stated over the phone on Thursday that the officer has faced personal and financial challenges as a result of the case. Carr expressed the belief that the grand jury made the correct decision in not indicting Sgt. Capers, as reported by CBS News.

“Sgt. Capers is relieved at the result, and he is glad that the citizens of Sunflower County reached the fair and correct result,” Carr said. “He is looking forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Sunflower County and the city of Indianola.”

Following the shooting incident, the Indianola Board of Aldermen voted in June to put Sgt. Greg Capers on unpaid administrative leave. Carr explained that Capers cannot resume work and receive payment unless the Board decides to lift the administrative leave.

Indianola, located in the rural Mississippi Delta, has a population of around 9,300 residents and is situated approximately 95 miles northwest of Jackson. On the day of the incident, Nakala Murry instructed her son to call the police at around 4 a.m. when the father of one of her other children arrived at her home, according to attorney Moore.

Two officers responded, and after kicking the front door, Nakala Murry informed them that the man had already left, and three children were inside the home. According to Nakala Murry, Sgt. Greg Capers then shouted into the home, ordering anyone inside to come out with their hands up.

Murry, who was unarmed and had nothing in his hands, walked into the living room, and Capers shot him in the chest, as described by Moore. In the aftermath of the shooting, the Murry family, along with their attorney Moore, urged the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to make public the bodycam footage from the incident.

However, Moore claimed that the bureau initially refused to release the footage citing an ongoing investigation into the matter.

“That’s unacceptable,” Moore said, adding he believed investigators were withholding the footage “because it shows things that are damaging to the city of Indianola.”  

Attorney Moore on Wednesday said that the Murry family has been permitted to view the bodycam footage of the incident. However, the city is reportedly in court, attempting to prevent the public release of the video.

Magistrate Judge David Sanders ruled in favor of the city regarding the video’s release, but Moore stated that they are appealing the decision to federal court.

The Murry family has filed a federal lawsuit against Indianola, the police chief, and Sgt. Greg Capers, seeking at least $5 million in damages. The lawsuit alleged that Indianola failed to adequately train the officer and accused Capers of using excessive force.

The Murry family intends to file a second lawsuit next month in Sunflower County Circuit Court, seeking claims under state law, as reported by WJTV.

Following the grand jury’s decision, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office stated that no additional criminal action at the state level would be pursued against Sgt. Greg Capers.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 18, 2023

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