Arkansas deputy begins trial in teenager's fatal shooting

As the Arkansas deputy killed a white teenager at a traffic stop, the body camera footage was shown publicly for first time Tuesday.

Arkansas deputy begins trial in teenager's fatal shooting

Michael Davis is a former sergeant at the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office. He faces three to ten years imprisonment if convicted in the shooting death of Hunter Brittain. Davis, who is white has pleaded not guilty. National civil rights leaders and activists have been captivated by Brittain’s murder.

After Davis' trial began, opening statements and testimony were held Tuesday. A jury comprised nine women and three men was seated.

Davis shot Brittain at an Arkansas Highway 89 south repair shop in Cabot on June 23, a traffic stop that took place about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Little Rock.

Tuesday Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that body camera footage showed Brittain being turned over. This caused many family members to leave the courtroom. According to the newspaper, Davis can be heard saying that Brittain jumped from his truck and grabbed an olive can.

According to the newspaper, Davis was seen alone in a police car crying and wailing.

John Staley, Lonoke County Sheriff, fired Davis in July because he didn't turn on his bodycam until after the shooting. Staley stated that there is no footage of the shooting but only the aftermath.

According to an arrest affidavit, Davis claimed that he shot Brittain once in his neck when Brittain reached into his truck's back and refused to obey his orders to show his hands. According to the affidavit, Brittain was carrying an antifreeze container that his family claimed contained. There was no evidence of firearms found near or in the truck.

Brittain was accompanied by a passenger who claimed that he had worked with the teen on the transmission of Brittain’s truck. Investigators were told by the passenger that he had never heard Davis tell Brittain to let his hands go.

Brittain was honored last year by the Rev. Al Sharpton, two lawyers who represented George Floyd's loved ones. They stated that the death of the teenager highlighted the need to provide interracial support for reforms in policing. Brittain's friends and family have protested regularly outside the Lonoke county sheriff's offices, asking for more information about the shooting.

Floyd was killed when a Minneapolis police officer used his knees to pin the Black man to the ground. His death sparked protests across the country over police brutality and racial inequalities.


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