William Chapman Murder
More information is coming out on the unarmed shooting death of William Chapman.
In April Chapman, 18, was murdered by a Virginia police officer who was previously suspended for killing an unarmed 26-year-old in 2011. That same officer also insulted his previous victim and their family in social media postings.
An unarmed black 18-year-old accused of shoplifting was killed by a police officer in Virginia who had been barred from patrolling city streets for almost three years after fatally shooting another unarmed man.
William Chapman was shot dead by Stephen Rankin, a white Portsmouth police officer, during a struggle in a Walmart parking lot.
Rankin, 35, a US navy veteran trained in martial arts, was once disciplined for posting violent remarks and Nazi images online.
Chapman’s family likened his death to that of Michael Brown, another unarmed black 18-year-old who was suspected of a theft and shot dead following a struggle with a white officer.
Brown’s death last year in Ferguson unleashed nationwide protests.
The Virginia chief medical examiner’s office said in a statement only that the cause of Chapman’s death was “gunshot wounds of face and chest”.
Chapman’s mother said his hands were also wounded in the encounter, a claim supported by photographs of his body reviewed by the Guardian.
Chiefs only allowed Rankin to return to frontline policing in March last year, almost three years after he killed an unarmed 26-year-old Kazakh immigrant in February 2011.
Rankin was later found to have insulted the man and his family in other online postings.
A sergeant in the department at the time told the Guardian that senior commanders were formally warned by one of Rankin’s supervisors weeks before his first fatal shooting that he was “dangerous” and likely to cause someone harm.
Rankin fired twice after Chapman resisted an arrest at the edge of the superstore parking lot on the morning of 22 April and a struggle ensued, according to witnesses.
The officer was responding to a complaint by store staff of a “suspected shoplifting”.
This is just sad. There are so many unarmed shooting deaths it’s hard to keep up with them at this point….