Radazz Hearns: Unarmed 14-Year-Old Shot Seven Times While Running From Police
Radazz Hearns was shot seven times by a police officer in what witnesses say was an unprovoked and senseless shooting, and now there is a movement growing in search of justice for the 14-year-old.
Hearns actually survived last week’s shooting and is recovering in a hospital in Trenton, New Jersey. The incident happened last Friday, when witnesses say police jumped out of an unmarked minivan and began aggressively questioning Radazz and some friends.
It quickly escalated from there, with Radazz taking off and police giving chase. The teen was reportedly shot during that chase, according to the Independent.
“Those police were amped and they didn’t give that little boy a chance. There was no room for no chase. They just shot that little boy right there,” Rhonda Tirado, who witnessed the shooting, told NJ.com.
“I don’t think those little boys had no clue what was going on. I think they was at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Police said they were responding to a call for gunshots, noting that they later found a.22-caliber handgun nearby. But other witnesses say Radazz Hearns could not have fired the weapon.
“The boy didn’t even come from that direction, so I don’t see how his gun could’ve been found over there near Pashley Avenue,” a witness told the Trentonian. “If the suspect was running from Pashley, then why were the rear of homes on Dunham Street hit with bullets.”
The shooting has raised tensions in Trenton and led to a movement to hold the officer who shot the teen accountable. Pictures of Hearns with the words “Justice for Radazz” have circulated online, and the boy’s family is working with a lawyer to put pressure on police.
“Why they were trying to execute a 14-year-old boy. You don’t have the right to be judge, jury and executioner,” said attorney Samuel A Anyan Jr.
Even members of the law enforcement community appear to be upset over the shooting.
The Independent reported:
“Other witnesses told the paper that a responding officer threw his arms in the air as if to say ‘Oh my God,’ when another cop unloaded nearly 10 shots. The boy reportedly cried out: ‘Why they have to shoot me?'”
The Trentonian also quoted an unnamed member of the law enforcement community who said police need to be held accountable for the boy’s shooting.
“They’re trying to tell us that there were all these people out here overnight and no one saw the gun in the street,” a woman who works in law enforcement and asked to remain anonymous said. “If they can’t find a reason to justify shooting that boy, they shouldn’t lie.”
The New Jersey Attorney General’s office is now reportedly investigating the shooting of Radazz Hearns.