3.9k Share this

Prosecutors say Thomas ‘TJ’ Siderio, 12, was unarmed and on the ground when the former Philadelphia officer fired fatal shot.

A former police officer in the US city of Philadelphia has been charged with murder in the shooting of a fleeing 12-year-old boy, who prosecutors said was on the ground and unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner on Monday announced first- and third-degree murder charges against former Officer Edsaul Mendoza in the shooting of Thomas “TJ” Siderio on March 1.

Police say Siderio had first fired a shot at an unmarked police car, injuring one of four plainclothes officers inside.

Mendoza was also charged with voluntary manslaughter and other crimes, according to a grand jury presentment unsealed on Monday. He had been suspended from his job on March 8 with intent to fire.

Court records show Mendoza surrendered on Sunday and was denied bail, rare treatment for former law enforcement officers facing charges.

A spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 said the union plans to provide an attorney for the officer. Court records showed the public defender’s office represented Mendoza at his bail hearing on Monday. The defender’s association declined to comment on the case.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw speaks with members of the media during a news conference in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said on March 8 that she planned to suspend and fire the plainclothes officer who fired the fatal shot that killed Siderio [Matt Rourke/AP Photo]

New details of the shooting were revealed in the unsealed grand jury documents, including that Siderio had thrown a gun down about 12 metres (40 feet) before he was shot and that the youth had dropped to the ground, either tripping or obeying a command to get down.

Krasner said the officer crossed between two parked cars and, from about a half-car length away, fired the fatal shot.

“It is certain that [Siderio] had stopped running and he was possibly surrendering … and he was essentially face down on the sidewalk,” Krasner said, saying the youth was in a push-up position looking back towards the officer.

Krasner called the entire foot chase “tactically unsound” and said the video was “disturbing to watch”, though when pressed he refused to characterise the shooting beyond saying it was clear to him there was evidence to support a first-degree murder charge.

Police said the four plainclothes officers were in an unmarked car on the night of March 1, looking for a teenager they wanted to interview related to a firearm investigation.

They saw two youths, Siderio and an unnamed 17-year-old, and manoeuvred the car around the block and next to them to initiate a stop.

Prosecutors said on Monday that at almost the same time the officers turned the red and blue lights on, a shot came through the back passenger window and ricocheted around the car.

Prosecutors said it was unclear from video whether the boy knew it was a police vehicle when he fired, but the investigation is ongoing.

[embedded content]

One officer was treated for injuries to his eye and face caused by broken glass.

Mendoza and another officer on the passenger’s side got out and fired one shot each. Mendoza then chased Siderio down the block, firing twice and striking the boy once in the back from what prosecutors say was “relatively close range”.

Krasner said Mendoza immediately told another officer that Siderio had thrown his gun back, signalling to prosecutors that he knew the boy was unarmed. He said the video also shows the officer slowing down and changing his approach, and that he was able to see Siderio was on the ground when he fired the fatal shot.

A message left by The Associated Press with an attorney representing Siderio’s father and other family members was not immediately returned.

Source: Al Jazeera

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Ten most expensive cars sold at auction – and Ferrari dominates

It was confirmed last week that an exceptionally rare 1950s Mercedes-Benz had…

Fears over freight supplies to power stations and supermarkets if unions vote for industrial action

Power blackouts, petrol shortages and empty shelves loom if rail unions vote…

Gov. Abbott deletes tweet backing Elon Musk after CEO sex misconduct claims emerge

Texas Governor Greg Abbott abruptly deleted a tweet offering his support for…

British scientists warned monkeypox would fill the void left by smallpox three years ago

Some of the country’s top disease experts warned that monkeypox would fill…

Kourtney Kardashian dons stunning Dolce & Gabbana corseted wedding dress – complete with headdress

They’re saying ‘I do’ for a third time this weekend in Portofino,…

Rebekah Vardy’s ex-husband DENIES ‘forcing’ her to do ‘Chipolatagate’ Peter Andre interview

She may have been the new girl, but it wasn’t long before…

Donald Trump considered QUITTING 2016 race over Access Hollywood tape, Kellyanne Conway claims

Donald Trump considered dropping out of the 2016 presidential race amid fallout…

Trump Endorsement ‘Catapulted’ Campaign Forward

Georgia Republican Jake Evans told Breitbart News that his recent endorsement from…