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Mississippi police sergeant who shot unarmed boy, 11, in chest isn't charged by grand jury

Police shoot 11-year-old in Mississippi
Protests in Mississippi after police shoot and injure 11-year-old Aderrien Murry 04:21

Jackson, Miss. — A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict a police officer who responded to a call and shot and wounded an unarmed 11-year-old boy inside the home.

The grand jury found that Indianola Police Sgt. Greg Capers didn't engage in criminal conduct when he shot Aderrien Murry in the chest on May 20 while responding to a domestic dispute. Murry was hospitalized for five days with a collapsed lung, lacerated liver and fractured ribs from the gunshot wound in his chest.

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office, which presented the case to a Sunflower County grand jury, announced the decision Thursday. In a written statement, Carlos Moore, Murry's attorney, said the family would seek accountability through a federal civil lawsuit.

"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 Capers and Murry are Black, CBS Jackson, Miss. affiliate WJTV notes.  

Reached by phone Thursday, Michael Carr, Capers' attorney, said the officer had suffered personally and financially due to the case and that the grand jury made the right decision.

"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."

The Indianola Board of Aldermen voted in June to place Capers on unpaid administrative leave. Capers can't return to work and get paid unless the Board votes to take him off leave, Carr said.

Indianola is a town of about 9,300 residents in the rural Mississippi Delta, about 95 miles northwest of Jackson.

Police Shoot Child Mississippi
This December 2022 photo provided by Nakala Murry of Indianola, Miss., shows her 11-year-old son Aderrien Murry, who was shot and wounded by an Indianola Police Department officer on May 20, 2023, during a domestic disturbance call at the home of Murry's family. AP

On the evening of the shooting, Nakala Murry asked her son to call police around 4 a.m. when the father of one of her other children showed up at her home, Moore said. Two officers went to the home and one kicked the front door before Nakala Murry opened it. She told them the man they called about had left, and that three children were inside the home, Moore said.

According to Nakala Murry, Capers yelled into the home and ordered anyone inside to come out with their hands up, Moore said. He said Aderrien Murry walked into the living room with nothing in his hands, and Capers shot him in the chest.

Days after the shooting, the Murry family and Moore called on the  Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to release bodycam footage of the incident.

"The family deserves answers and they deserve it sooner than later because you had an 11-year-old boy within an inch of losing his life," Moore told CBS News at the time.

The bureau, Moore said, won't release the footage while the investigation is ongoing. "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."   

On Wednesday, Moore told WJTV the family was finally allowed to view the footage. He said the city is fighting in court to block the release of the video to the public. 

WJTV said Magistrate Judge David Sanders sided with the city over the video issue, but Moore said they're appealing the order to federal court.

The Murry family has filed a federal lawsuit against Indianola, the police chief and Capers. The lawsuit, which seeks at least $5 million, says Indianola failed to properly train the officer and that Capers used excessive force.

The family plans to file a second lawsuit to pursue claims under state law next month in Sunflower County Circuit Court, according to WJTV.

With the grand jury's decision, the Attorney General's Office said no further criminal action at the state level would be taken against Capers.

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