In what has become an all too familiar outcome, another officer of the law will go unpunished for his role in taking a young black life.
WWMT reports that after reviewing the death of 11-year-old Norman Hood of Battle Creek, Mich., the special prosecutor assigned to the case declined to file criminal charges against the officer responsible for Hood’s death:
Norman Hood Jr. died May 28 after he was hit by a county patrol car on Michigan Avenue at Lenon Street in Battle Creek. Norman was riding a minibike, and was crossing Michigan Avenue when he was hit. He was 11 years old.
On Monday, a Michigan State Police spokesman confirmed that no charges will be filed.
“I feel that my son was killed and justice was not served,” Christine Valdez, Hood’s mother, said in a written statement. “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 deputy was responding to a reported burglary the evening of May 28 when he hit the boy. A sheriff’s office spokesman said at the time that they believe the bike turned into the car’s path. The vehicle’s overhead lights and siren were not activated.
According to Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert, it was determined that “the sudden and abrupt veering in front of the patrol car by the victim on the motorbike caused the crash and [Hood’s] death.”
“[The special prosecutor] found the officer was on duty and responding to an emergency call,” Gilbert said in a written statement. “And while he was violating the speed limit, an officer has a statutory right to exceed the limit under those circumstances.”
So if the officer was responding to an emergency call and refrained from notifying other drivers and pedestrians that he was driving 66 mph in a 30 mph zone by using either his siren and/or overhead lights, how in the hell is he not responsible for killing this 11-year-old boy?
Hood was laid to rest on June 9, where he was remembered for his “infectious smile” and love for the outdoors. And while it won’t bring back their child, Hood’s family filed a civil lawsuit against Calhoun County and the unnamed deputy in June.
They are seeking $25 million in damages.