Prosecutors clear Eastern Arkansas officers in shooting

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The grandmother of a 16-year-old boy shot dead by police officers in Eastern Arkansas earlier this summer says her grandson’s killing was unjustified.

A state prosecutor said on Wednesday that two eastern Arkansas police officers won’t face charges in the fatal shooting of a black teenager outside an emergency youth shelter.

Kim Cole, an attorney representing the family of Aries Clark, said in a statement Wednesday the family had not been contacted by authorities about the decision to not charge the officers. Cole says the family hasn’t seen any of the video footage.

Cole says her office is conducting its own investigation after a state prosecutor said officers were justified in using deadly force against the teen and won’t be charged.

Prosecuting attorney Scott Ellington released body camera footage that shows Aries Clark was holding and raising what appeared to be a pistol on July 25 outside East Arkansas Youth Services in Marion. Ellington said the two officers who fired their weapons were justified in using lethal force.

Scott Ellington says year 16-year-old pointed a black BB gun at officers when he was shot on July 25 in Marion. Ellington stated that the officers “begged” and “cajoled” Clark to drop the gun and fired after he raised it toward police.

Ellington said Wednesday that the two local officers – Brannon Hinkle and Wesley Smith – were justified in using lethal force. He noted that body camera footage shows Clark raised what appeared to be a pistol toward the officers outside East Arkansas Youth Services.

Ellington said Clark had been placed at the facility by court order, but had left and was trying to gain entry. The shelter contracts with the state to provide services to children in foster care or who have been involved in the juvenile justice system.

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