FOX16.com

LRPD officer's release from jail raises questions

A Little Rock police officer pleaded not guilty to manslaughter Monday for the killing of a 15-year-old car theft suspect.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Little Rock police officer pleaded not guilty to manslaughter Monday for the killing of a 15-year-old car theft suspect.

Officer Josh Hastings bonded out of the Pulaski County Jail within hours of his arrest Friday. Monday, Fox16 obtained security camera footage of his release.

In the footage, Hastings can be seen in booking, just like any other suspect. Then you see him taking a mug shot, followed by a meeting with his bondsman, then Hastings is released.

Here's what deputies say is atypical though: they say released inmates typically leave the jail through a back door into a public parking lot. Hastings does not. As seen in the surveillance footage, he has a car waiting for him inside a secure area, the sally port. That is where police officers typically take suspects to jail, not pick them up after getting released.

Pulaski County Sheriff's Office officials refused to answer any questions about Hastings' release on camera. Asked off camera why Hastings left in a car through the sally port as opposed to through the usual back door on foot, a spokesman said "for safety reasons."

Hastings is charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing 15 year old Bobby Moore at a West Little Rock apartment complex. A police investigation concluded the car Moore was driving "had in fact stopped several feet from Officer Hastings and was reversing direction when Hastings fired a fatal shot."

Hastings' attorney claims his client did nothing wrong.

"Sometimes when you protect the city," said Bill James, "you have to protect yourself and that's what he did. He is disappointed, but he knows in the long run, he is gonna be proven innocent."

Little Rock police refused to comment on this story.
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