LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — During a press conference, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott said that the FBI and LRPD are investigating the officer-involved shooting that killed 30-year-old Bradley Blackshire on Feb. 22.
Blackshire was shot and killed by LRPD Officer Charles Starks during a traffic stop at the intersection of 12th Street and Rodney Parham on Feb. 22.
Authorities say Officer Charles Starks stopped Blackshire in a parking lot there as he drove a car that was reported stolen.
Police say Blackshire initially pulled over, but disobeyed Starks' orders to get out of the car and instead drove forward, hitting the officer, who fired his weapon and shot Blackshire. Blackshire died on the scene.
"We are all very aware of what happened 12 days ago in our city," Mayor Scott said. "We all understand it is a trying time not only for the Blackshire family but for the family of Officer Starks. Anytime there is a loss of life, anyone who is a part of that process, it hits home to all. It hits home to our entire city during this period of time. We understand that our city is hurting. We understand our city wants to know as much as possible, and what we've been trying to share is our efforts to be accountable and be transparent to make sure everyone understands the process."
Mayor Scott said there are two investigations happening right now, criminal and administrative. He commended the Little Rock Police Department for working fast on their part so they can get the files to the prosecutor.
Mayor Scott and LRPD released video of the incident on March 7, following the family's personal viewing. The release of this video comes after both Blackshire's family and attorney requested it, along with promises from Mayor Scott.
Blackshire's attorney, Omavi Shukur from Loevy & Loevy of Chigaco, has requested that Arkansas State Police take over the investigation. He has also accused Officer Starks of murder, saying Blackshire's death was an "unacceptable and unnecessary use of deadly force."
The details of the law firm's investigation and findings have not been released.
“The family did ask me to include the Arkansas State Police in the investigative process,” Mayor Scott said. “Many know of part of the law enforcement mentality, if there are any other law enforcement that are outside of a particular agency, they normally have to be a part of the process the day-of, within actually minutes to an hour or two to be part of that process. Since they were not able to be a part of that process and we are now on day 13, they will not because of their protocol that they’ve set forth, will not be able to investigate this process.”
Since the shooting, Officer Starks has been relieved of duty. However, the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police has announced their support for Officer Starks. In a statement, they said Starks received injuries from the incident and was treated at a local hospital.
Little Rock attorney Robert Newcomb is representing Officer Starks. He calls the February 22 shooting a “tragic situation.”
THV11 asked Newcomb if he believes Starks committed a criminal act.
“Not in my opinion,” Newcomb responded. “A car can kill you and the law is very clear that you can use deadly force to protect yourself. It was unfortunate for everybody involved that it had to end that way.”
Blackshire's family watched the video ahead of its release and did not wish to comment Thursday.
Omavi Shukur, the family’s attorney told THV11 he looks forward to seeing if the prosecuting attorney brings charges against Starks.
"We think the videos confirm that Officer Starks used unreasonable and excessive force by repeatedly firing into a slowly moving car,” Shukur said.
The Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office will now review the LRPD criminal investigation and determine if charges should be filed.