Lawyers say fired officer’s reinstatement should go forward

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Attorneys for a Little Rock police officer fired for fatally shooting a motorist say an Arkansas judge should reject an effort to halt the officer’s reinstatement.Attorneys for Officer Charles Starks asked Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox on Tuesday to reject the stay requested by the city of Little Rock. Fox last week reversed a city panel’s decision upholding Starks’ firing over the 2019 fatal shooting of Bradley Blackshire.

The city has said it’s appealing Fox’s decision.

Starks fired at least 15 times through the windshield of a car Blackshire was driving in February.

Starks and another officer were attempting a motor vehicle stop at the time. Police commanders fired Starks in May, saying he violated department policy.

Fox last week upheld the commission’s ruling that Starks violated policy prohibiting officers from voluntarily placing themselves in front of an oncoming vehicle “where deadly force is the probable outcome.” That policy requires officers to move out of an oncoming vehicle’s path if possible rather than fire.

But the judge said a 30-day suspension and reduction in salary to an entry-level officer are more appropriate sanctions.

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