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The mother of a boy shot by police demands accountability after no charges are filed

Despite the outcome from both the grand jury and the Mississippi Attorney General's Office, Aderrien's mother — Nakala Murry — says she will continue to fight for justice for her son. Here, Aderrien Murry poses for a picture outside of his home in Indianola, Miss.
Nakala Murry
Despite the outcome from both the grand jury and the Mississippi Attorney General's Office, Aderrien's mother — Nakala Murry — says she will continue to fight for justice for her son. Here, Aderrien Murry poses for a picture outside of his home in Indianola, Miss.

The mother of 11-year-old Aderrien Murry who was shot by police in Mississippi said she will continue to fight for justice for her son despite a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who pulled the trigger.

"Things need to change. People need to show more accountability, laws need to be [changed]," Nakala Murry said in an interview with NPR.

"People who you think [would] have your back, even officials, they don't. And you think people will be for what's right. But this incident taught me it doesn't happen like that," she added.

Seven months after Indianola police Sgt. Greg Capers shot Aderrien in his home after he called authorities for help during a domestic dispute, a grand jury decided not to indict the officer.

In a statement released last week, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said her office completed its review into the May 20 incident and presented it to the grand jury in Sunflower County, which decided not to indict.

A simple phone call she says changed her life forever

Murry says she vividly remembers the day she learned about the grand jury's decision.

"It was a 2-minute phone call. It took two minutes. My life changed in two minutes," Murry said.

She describes her pain as being upset and hysterical, as she recalls the emotions running through her after hearing the news.

"I screamed, I cried. I just didn't understand," she said.

Murry told NPR she had been waiting for roughly six months for authorities to give her an answer or decision on the outcome of her son's shooting.

She said she contacted both the Indianola Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (which were both investigating the shooting) for an update but received little to no answers.

But, that changed once she received the news of the grand jury's decision on Dec. 13.

"They always told me they haven't done anything anything yet. I was upset ... and then I got the breakdown on what the grand jury decided on," Nakala Murry said.

And yet, after finally seeing the body camera footage from the May 20 shooting, Murry and her attorney, Carlos Moore, are asking for it to be released publicly.

"I feel like it all could have been avoided, especially from a trained police officer," she added.

The grand jury's decision has not stopped the fight for justice

Moore told NPR that despite the decision made by the grand jury, the shooting was not justified and he will continue to pursue the case — as he is calling for Capers' termination.

"The most challenging part in dealing with this situation is the lack of humanity, the lack of decency," Moore said. "People have to be held accountable ...We will get justice for Nakala Murry and Aderrien Murry."

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the shooting alongside the attorney general's office, did not respond to NPR's request for comment. The Indianola Police Department also declined NPR's request for comment on the incident.

Capers' attorney, Michael Carr, told NPR that Capers is relieved at the decision and is "looking forward to getting back to work."

On the evening of May 20, Murry said she told Aderrien to call the police after the father of one of her other children came to their home in an "irate" mood.

Once arriving at the Murry home, police instructed everyone inside to come out with their hands up. Murry says that's when 11-year-old Aderrien emerged from around a corner, running toward the door and Capers opened fire.

Aderrien suffered a collapsed lung, fractured rib and a lacerated liver.

Murry said her son is doing better physically. But emotionally it's still a process. He's been going to weekly therapy ever since he's been shot.

"With the support of therapy, family and friends, he's just trying to get back on track emotionally," she said.

In May, Aderrien's family filed a $5 million federal lawsuit, challenging that the police officers who responded to the domestic disturbance call acted in a way that was "so outrageous that it shocks the moral and legal conscience of the community."

Their lawsuit also calls for Capers and Indianola Police Chief Ronald Sampson to be fired, as they have repeatedly asked for body camera footage of the incident to be released to the public.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin
Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.