Akeelah Jackson died after being hit by a St. Louis County police cruiser in the 8900 block of Halls Ferry on Oct. 14, 2019.
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The Ethical Society of Police is calling for the St. Louis County officer who struck and killed a 12-year-old in October to be charged.
Akeelah Jackson was hit by the police car around 5:50 p.m. in the 8900 block of Halls Ferry on Oct. 14. The 25-year-old officer was reportedly chasing someone, reaching speeds of 59 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone with no lights or sirens on when Jackson stepped into the street.
After hitting the girl, police said the officer stopped, reported the incident and is cooperating with the St. Louis Police Department.
Jackson was pronounced dead at the hospital during the early morning hours on Nov. 12, St. Louis police said.
Over a month after Jackson’s death, the Ethical Society of Police called for the officer involved to be “charged and held responsible.”
[Read: ‘She flew in the air and came back down’; officer who hit girl during chase was reportedly driving 29 MPH over the speed limit]
Heather Taylor, the president of the Ethical Society of Police, released the following statement regarding the organization’s calls for the officer involved in Jackson’s death to be “charged and held responsible”:
“Akeelah “Kee Kee” Jackson, a smart, beautiful, 12-year-old child, lost her life after being struck by a St. Louis County Police Officer on October 14, 2019. The officer failed to turn on his lights and siren for “32” seconds as he pursued a car for a traffic violation. It takes one second to turn on the lights of a police car, an additional second to turn on the siren. That officer also drove 59 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone before killing Akeelah.
I doubt the officer that killed Akeelah with his reckless actions wanted to hurt a child; however, a child has lost her life with her family left to pick up the pieces from his actions. The officer must be charged and held responsible.
After Akeelah was struck, the St. Louis County Police Department Public Information Sergeant Benjamin Granda stated, “I think reasonable people understand that a police officer has a duration of time or space they need to catch up with a car to initiate a traffic stop.” What is “reasonable” is expecting an officer to take two of those 32 seconds to turn on his lights and siren. Furthermore, we are taught in the Police Academy to turn on our lights and siren to be recognized as an emergency vehicle. We, as officers, are not given a “grace period” to speed. Just once, I’d like to see a Police Department immediately hold us accountable when our actions cost someone their life.
Please note, in 2018, two men, Mikel Neil and Townsal Woolfolk, lost their lives during an unauthorized St. Louis County vehicle pursuit. At the time, St. Louis County Police released a statement stating their officers were not pursuing the car. Activists later found video that showed they had pursued the vehicle.
It’s time for those 32 seconds to catch up to the officer that killed Akeelah “Kee Kee” Jackson.
The Bureau of Professional Standards is reportedly investigating the officer’s actions leading up to the incident.