Little Rock Officer Fired For Justified Shooting

Little Rock Police Officer Charles Starks was fired by his department on May 6.

Little Rock, AR – The Little Rock police officer who opened fire on an armed suspect from the hood of the suspect’s stolen car in February has been fired by his department.

In April, Little Rock Police Officer Charles Starks was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the fatal officer-involved shooting, KATV reported.

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey went against the recommendations of four police supervisors who reviewed the case, and fired Officer Starks on May 6.

In the letter of termination, Chief Humphrey alleged that Officer Starks violated the department’s use-of-force policy by not moving out of the path of the suspect’s vehicle as it was moving towards him.

"When confronted by an oncoming vehicle, officers will move out of its path, if possible, rather than fire at the vehicle," the policy read, according to KATV.

Little Rock Assistant Chief Hayward Finks was one of the senior officers who reviewed the incident.

"I do not believe that Officer Starks intentionally nor voluntarily stepped in front of the vehicle driven by [the suspect],” Assistant Chief Finks wrote in a letter documenting his findings.

The Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) also expressed its strong disagreement with Officer Starks’ termination.

"Officers are required to make split second decisions and today’s decision has the potential to make officers hesitate in their actions, which could prove detrimental to the citizens of Little Rock and the officers themselves," the FOP said.

The now-former officer’s attorney, Robert Newcomb, says he plans to appeal the termination.

The fatal encounter occurred on Feb. 22, after Officer Starks spotted 30-year-old Bradley Blackshire driving a stolen vehicle in the area of Rodney Parham Road and West 12th Street, KATV reported at the time.

Blackshire backed into a parking place in a nearby lot, at which point Officer Starks drove up in his marked patrol vehicle with his lights activated, according to the Associated Press.

The officer drew his weapon, approached Blackshire’s driver’s side window, and ordered him to show his hands.

He then ordered Blackshire to get out of the vehicle multiple times, dashcam footage showed.

“What did I do?” Blackshire asked, refusing to get out of the car. “What are you going to shoot me for?”

“Get out of the car!” Officer Starks said repeatedly.

“No,” the suspect responded, just before he started driving the stolen vehicle towards the officer.

Officer Starks moved backwards and continued to issue commands, but Blackshire proceeded to drive into him.

The officer fired several rounds, at which point the car continued to move forwards, knocking Officer Starks onto the hood.

The officer fired multiple rounds at the driver through the windshield as the car carried him across the parking lot.

A second patrol car then pulled up, and collided with the passenger side of the stolen vehicle.

Officer Starks tumbled from the hood, and both officers converged on the driver.

“Put your f--king hands up!” the second officer ordered repeatedly.

But Blackshire accelerated again, sending the vehicle into a grassy area at the far end of the lot, where it crashed into something off-camera and came to rest near a tree.

“Hey, can I jump out?” a female passenger in the suspect vehicle asked the officers.

The woman climbed out of the passenger side window, then said something to one of the officers.

“She said he’s got a gun!” Officer Starks yelled out.

The officers repeatedly ordered Blackshire to show his hands and radioed for an ambulance.

Blackshire died at the scene, Little Rock Interim Police Chief Wayne Bewley said, according to the Associated Press.

Officer Starks suffered an injury to his right leg, and the female passenger in the stolen car was uninjured.

Omavi Shakur, an attorney for Blackshire’s family, has denounced Officer Starks’ account of what occurred, and said that there was no evidence that Blackshire was aware he was driving a stolen car, KATV reported.

Shakur praised Chief Humphrey’ decision to fire Officer Starks, and said he now hopes the city will “take further steps towards making amends for this avoidable, devastating tragedy,” according to KATV.

Comments (40)
View Older Messages
Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

i was taught when I was a child to not stand in front of cars. What's this idiot's excuse?

NomonK
NomonK

Police lives matter just as much as anyone else. Why is America so afraid to enforce the law when a person of color is the lawbreaker.

Grinder131
Grinder131

Chief Humphrey you may have traded in your testicles for your promotion.

Mrdan
Mrdan

Gutless spineless. Pos. I hope this officer sues the shit out of the police department n the town . He used deadly force against a person who had no regards for the officers lives he had a stolen car n was using that as a weapon but when the officers defended themselves they were wrong bullshit!!! Didn't know the car was stolen agian bullshit!! The steering column was probably busted but he didn't know it was stolen .poor poor misunderstood who couldn't understand English my heart bleeds for this person (not) MB the police chief will do the right thing n pay this poor unfortunates family out of his pocket

chiefd
chiefd

What kind of name is Omavi Shakur? Of course, the poor boy with a gun didn't know the car was stolen, but the officer did, Shakur. I wonder what the result would be if the crook was a white man?

Stanracer
Stanracer

Officer Starks needs to sue the police department and the spineless chief that fired him.

Anilbs
Anilbs

Do they expect police officers to be jackie Chan jumping out of the way and use kung fu to disarm a armed nut .poor cop dismissed for doing his job...

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Glad he was fired. That was very bad police work.

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Chief should be the one fired..just saying

chazman
chazman

This Officer will be exonerated and will be returned to duty with back pay. That Police Chief needs to go for one of the most stupid decisions I have seen and violating the Officer's rights! The Officer was right and did right.

Ekul1021
Ekul1021

When that guy played stupid games, he won the stupid prizes. And he got the grand prize, an all paid expense trip to the city morgue.

steven.ward.GAI
steven.ward.GAI

Wait! He didn't know he was driving a stolen vehicle and was armed? Attorney talk, it always cracks me up what they will say to defend their client. Officer Charles Starks , I wouldn't return to the department, even if you get your job back, even after the interim Chief goes back to sitting on his porch. Lot's of departments hiring heroes.

61mouse
61mouse

That's good now he can move and FIND A DEPARTMENT that has HIS BACK

GregoryThomas
GregoryThomas

Officer: Get out of the car Driver: No! (Starts driving into the officer) Officer: Shoots driver.

Passenger: Can I jump out? Officer: Let's her out "I'm placing you in cuffs Passenger: Ok.

People wonder why the first thing happens...but don't recognize that the second one is showing how to handle an incident correctly.

NFPD103
NFPD103

Again The Chief is a political position their jobs rest with the political party on power most often. When it comes to making decisions based on facts they simply ignore evidence and do what is easy in this case fire the officer knowing full well that if the officer sues he will win his job back and the chief says I tried I did my job. This criminal POS knew what he was doing, he knew the car was not his he knew he was armed and that he needed to escape. he stalled until he felt he had a chance to escape. This typical move is repeated every day thousands of times by criminals of every lot. Officers who have spent any time on the street know that if they don't gain compliance and control quickly they risk this kind of thing happening. every citizen with any common sense knows that this event was controlled by the criminal from the moment the contacted occurred the only thing the officer could do was react to the offender's actions.

cpc3
cpc3

Sue the city & PD for everything

maddog59
maddog59

Should not matter wheather he knew the car was stolen or not. He still refused officers commands and assaulted him. Totally justified shoot.

Andytheman
Andytheman

Stupid Chief! I would have done the same thing and I'm a well trained cop. This officer hanging on to the hood to keep from falling off and getting run over did the right thing. He feared for his life . This chief is Ann asshole!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

When confronted by an oncoming vehicle, officers will move out of its path, if possible, rather than fire at the vehicle.

Claudialev
Claudialev

Hmmmm do u think the chief decided to fire him so the liberal community wouldn’t do one of their riots???? Pretty dam sad. I think it was a good split second decision and I would not want that POS criminal on my street. AND “really” he did not know the car was stolen. How laughable !!!!!!!

No. 26-26
OldVet
OldVet

That Police Chief I stupid and TOTALLY in the wrong. He should not be the Chief of Police