Norman Hood was only 11 years old and living in Battle Creek, Michigan. On May 28, he was on his m
WOODTV reports the unidentified officer was driving to an emergency call and was speeding at “66 miles per hour in an area with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour.” The deputy was not using his lights or sirens.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jerard Jarzynka decided to not file charges, saying, “Under Michigan law, a police officer can exceed the speed limit. This is a tragic accident.” He also claimed “Michigan law provides exceptions to whether the officer must use their emergency lights or siren.”
Jarzynka then appeared to blame the child, claiming “Norman is seen riding the pocket bike wearing dark-colored clothing before abruptly making a sharp turn in front of the deputy.” Jarzynka stated, “His actions of doing that certainly resulted in this collision. Suddenly he’s just coming out of nowhere.”
Christina Valdez, Norman’s mother disputes Jayzynka statement, “He merges from one lane to the next. He does not make no dramatic turn in front of the officer… I’m a mess. I’ve been a mess, crying all day. They’re saying it’s OK… It’s OK you were speeding. Sixty-six miles an hour, really?”
Valdez also told WWMT in a written statement, “I feel that my son was killed and justice was not served. The average citizen would have to pay for taking a life. The officer gets to go back to work and continue with his life. We will always be without Norman.”
The family has civil lawsuit and is seeking $25 million in damages.
It is rare for cops to ever be prosecuted. Vox.com reports, 3,238 criminal cases against police officers were analyzed from April 2009 through December 2010, “They found that only 33 percent were convicted, and 36 percent of officers who were convicted ended up serving prison sentences. Both of those are about half the rate at which members of the public are convicted or incarcerated.”
Our condolences go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.