Attorneys said today they expect to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against former Little Rock officer Josh Hastings, the former police chief, Stuart Thomas, and the city of Little Rock over the Aug. 12, 2012 shooting death of Bobby Moore.
Hastings shot Moore as he attempted to drive away from the scene of an apparent car break-in at a west Little Rock apartment complex. The police said Hastings wasn’t truthful about events that night (he contended he fired because Moore’s vehicle threatened to run him down) and he was prosecuted. But two trials ended in mistrials and the case was dropped. Chief Thomas fired Hastings and he gave up efforts to get his job back.
Attorneys Michael Laux, who has other actions pending over Little Rock police use of deadly force, and Michael A. Kelly said in a news release that the shooting violated Moore’s constitutional rights and that Hastings’ “propensities and disregard of policy” were known to authorities, but he remained employed. They suggest he remain employed because he is the son of a former high-ranking officer, Terry Hastings. Josh Hastings’ attendance at a KKK meeting and violations of policy were mentioned during the time of his suspension from the force and trial. Said the lawyers:
Through the course of his brief career, Hastings amassed many violations of police policy, and earned many days of suspension. A disproportionately high percentage of individuals upon whom he used force were African-American or non-white. Bobby’s shooting was deemed unjustified. Hastings was terminated in 2012. He should never have been hired.
The lawyers, who work for a San Francisco-based firm, say the suit will be filed Monday. They plan a news conference that day at the Capital Hotel. They will be joined by Moore’s family, including his mother, Sylvia Perkins. They will call again for an end to internal investigations of police-involved shootings. They also say they want compliance with Brady v. Maryland, a case that established that the state can keep lists of officers who may be subject to impeachment for having records of lying in an in official capacity.