MARION, Ark. - Arkansas prosecutors determined Wednesday that an officer-involved shooting death of a 16-year-old in Crittenden County was justified, and the body camera footage from the incident has now been released.
On July 25, 2017, Officer Brannon Hinkle fired two shots, missing the boy. Then, Officer Wesley Smith shot and hit the boy, killing him. This came after much pleading and attempts from the officers to save the boy.
The boy, Aries Clark, 16, was standing outside East Arkansas Youth Services, which is an emergency shelter for juveniles. Employees at the facility called police because Clark was trying to get inside the facility. Clark was previously assigned to the facility, but he left without permission.
The body cam footage shows police asking Clark to put the gun down at least 52 times. It shows police offering to help 23 times.
One minute before the shots were fired, Officer Smith can be heard saying, "Aries, it ain't worth it. I promise you. You have your whole life ahead of you."
Clark tells the officer, "You can't help me. And do it."
The pistol he was holding turned out to be a BB Gun.
Through the body camera footage, it seems Officer Smith is the one who had the most interaction with Clark and is ultimately the one who shot and killed him.
"Whoah! Whoah! Whoah! Gun! He’s got a gun! Drop the gun... C’mon. Drop the gun!" Officer Smith can be heard pleading with the boy. "Hey man, we’re buddies... I’ve talked to you before, dude... C’mon man. Don’t do this. I talked to you over there a couple of weeks ago... Just drop the gun for me. I’m here to help you. We ain’t taking you to jail... C’mon man. I’m your buddy."
Clark can be heard asking the officer to shoot him, saying "Do it," and "You can't help me."
Officers can then be heard saying "We're here to help you man. Whatever you got going on, we're here to help you."
Then, more pleading from the officers, "Whatever help you need, we can get it for you, man."
Ultimately, the officers' attempts at saving the boy proved not enough.
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