Charles Starks, Little Rock police officer who was fired after shooting and killing Bradley Blackshire during a traffic stop has been given his job back.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox ordered the police department to reinstate Charles Starks who was suspended for 30 days without pay. Also, the judged ordered that Stark’s salary be reduced to that of an entry-level officer.
Blackshirt was shot and killed by Starks at a traffic stop on February 22, 2019. Police say Blackshire attempted to accelerate the vehicle in an attempt to flee the scene and in doing so he hit Starks with the car. Starks opened fire into the vehicle’s front windshield, killing Blackshire.
Starks was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, however, he was fired in May after an internal investigation of the shooting was completed.
Judge Fox wrote in his ruling that after reviewing the video of Starks’ actions from the time he exited his patrol car to the killing of Blackshire his conclusion was that the officer did not violate Arkansas law or the Little Rock Police Department’s use-of-force policy in that time.
The order says that Starks’ actions, under Arkansas law, “were those of a reasonable certified law enforcement officer … in an emergency situation.”
“This is a bad day for Little Rock. It’s a black eye for Little Rock. Judge Fox, for whatever reason he made the decision, I think it was more political than not,” said Rizelle Aaron, former Arkansas NAACP President and Blackshire family friend.