LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Within the past couple of weeks Little Rock police officers shot and killed two suspects. So far in 2012 little rock police officers killed 4 suspects. One of the suspects is a 15 year old boy.
THV's Lauren Scott met with Little Rock's chief of police to find out when an officer finds it necessary to kill a suspect. Chief Stuart Thomas says when an officer shoots a suspect, they never want the outcome to be death. The objective is to stop the threat not necessarily take their lives.
We asked Chief Thomas, "What's the protocol for officer involved shootings? "There are two investigations that are conducted, one is by our major crimes division and that's traditional and essential criminal investigation.
Parallel to that and separately is an internal investigation by our professional standards investigation and that's slightly different because the focus there is on the compliance with departmental policy."
The investigations aren't completely internal, the city and Prosecuting Attorney's are also involved. The most recent officer involved shooting happened Saturday. Officer Josh Hastings shot and killed 15 year old Bobby Moore after he saw them breaking into cars. Moore was driving when Hastings shot him.
We asked, "Did officer Hastings know there were juveniles involved when he responded to the call?"
Chief Thomas says, "I don't have any information that would suggest that, I didn't see that there was definition of that in the radio traffic."
"What's being done to help this issue, we have two people now dead that officer's shot and killed, one of them being 15?" we asked.
Chief Thomas says, "These outcomes are the last situations that any law enforcement officer wants to encounter, unfortunately while in many incidents the policy dictates that you plan ahead and create a situation where it's not likely that you'll have to deploy deadly force, to a large extent your responding, you are reacting to what a suspect may be doing at the time."
There are still two officer shooting incidents under investigation. The officers are off work and receiving counseling, the investigation sometimes takes up to two months.