LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas judge on Friday said he won’t stay his order reinstating a Little Rock police officer fired for fatally shooting a man, although that is exactly what the city desired.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox denied the city of Little Rock’s request to stay his order regarding Officer Charles Starks, who was fired over the fatal shooting of Bradley Blackshire, KATV reported.
Starks was responding to a call Feb. 22, 2019 after a detective confirmed that the car Blackshire was driving was stolen. Due to circumstances—crazy things happen in police work—Starks found himself in a vulnerable position, with weapon drawn, ordering the suspect out of the car. But Blackshire refused to comply on multiple occasions.
When the vehicle being operated by Blackshire began to move toward Starks, he backed away. Nevertheless, the left front quarter panel struck him. Starks did not fire until he was hit a second time by Blackshire and felt pain in his leg upon being struck. Moreover, the vehicle continued to turn toward and drive into Starks.
Consequently, as the continuing action unfolds, Starks is laid out on the hood of the vehicle. As a result, he continued to fire until the suspect was no longer a threat.
A family spokesman told Law Officer that Starks was very relieved.
“This entire thing has been tragic for everyone involved,” said the spokesman. “Charles looks forward to going back to work, doing what he was created to do, help people. His family deserves relief and he’s happy. He will be able to finally get back to providing for them. And he looks forward to the court of appeals upholding Judge Fox’s decision.”
Fox said the appeal would, of course, be up to the Court of Appeals and that there might be “legitimate political or trial strategy reason” for the city to pursue an appeal. For one thing, a civil lawsuit is pending from Blackshire’s family, reported the Arkansas Times. Nevertheless, the judge observed:
Based on the record and the strict appellate standard of review, it is the court’s opinion that in a range from “wholly without merit” to “a legitimate basis for an appeal exists,” an appeal of this matter is very close to the “wholly without merit” end of the range.
So while the legal battles continue, this is a victory for the besieged officer.