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Little Rock officer arrested on manslaughter charge

By Rachel Hook

This article was originally published September 7, 2012 at 3:40 p.m. Updated September 7, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.


Josh Hastings, 26, of Little Rock

— A Little Rock police officer has been arrested on a manslaughter charge following an August shooting that left one teenager dead.

The Little Rock Police Department announced in a news release that officer Josh Hastings, 26, was arrested Friday afternoon about 2 p.m. in west Little Rock. Hastings responded to a call Aug. 12 regarding three suspects who were breaking into cars at Shadow Lake Apartments, 13111 W. Markham, and were reportedly leaving the area in a stolen vehicle.

Hastings told investigating officers that the suspects approached him in the vehicle and failed to stop despite his instructions to do so. Hastings reportedly fired shots at the vehicle, which ultimately killed the driver — 15-year-old Bobby Moore.

Hastings was immediately placed on administrative leave after the shooting pending both internal and criminal investigations. On Friday he was formally charged with manslaughter, a class-C felony, after the prosecuting attorney's office concluded that Hastings' use of deadly force was not justified. According to the release, he remains off-duty while "administrative proceedings are conducted."

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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ToTheLeft says... September 7, 2012 at 3:53 p.m.

Isn't trying to run over a policeman attempted murder? This is letting minors know they can do whatever they darn well please and get away with it.

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hah406 says... September 7, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.

This seems like the D.A. giving in to race-based community pressure to me. The boy he shot was committing multiple felonies, was in possession of a stolen car, and ignored the lawful order of a police officer to stop and surrender himself. I hate to sound cold-hearted, but we were taught to do what the police say, no matter what. So if you are doing crime and ignore the police when you get caught, you get what you get. But charging this officer with a crime is wrong.

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TheBatt says... September 7, 2012 at 3:59 p.m.

Either there is a HUGE injustice about to be done to a police officer who was defending his life... OR

There is so much more to this story than is being released to the press.

I hope I am wrong, but I can't help but wonder if this is an effort to prevent a public relations nightmare related to "an innocent boy being executed by an evil cop" that some elements of our society like to engineer.

I pray that, if indeed this officer is lying and he did act out of line - that the truth be known. But I also pray that, if this officer is being truthful - that he be cleared and have his career restored to him.

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Jackabbott says... September 7, 2012 at 4:02 p.m.

This will only lead to brazen attempts by others to break the law and then create excuses to avoid being caught. It appears the officer might have excerised bad judgement in shooting but people whether police or not have a right to defend themselves. Perhaps the new legislature will correct this.

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Animmol says... September 7, 2012 at 4:11 p.m.

Don't tell the dead 15 year-old that he got away with anything. This sends a message, but perhaps not the right one. Without having been there, it's impossible to make judgments, but refusing to comply with the lawful order of a police officer while in the commission of a crime does not necessarily constitute grounds for use of deadly force. If there were other alternatives at hand to deal with the criminals, the officer is obligated to pursue them before making the decision to discharge his weapon.

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mindvmatter says... September 7, 2012 at 4:18 p.m.

I feel there is more to the story as well. A lot of people take their jobs too seriously and police officers are no different. There is a legal right to protect yourself from harm, not your property. You cannot argue property is worth more than human life....

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MenLR2 says... September 7, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.

And what charges is Mom facing? Her son is running the streets in a stolen car with other thugs who steal...and she walks free? Hastings may have messed up, no one here knows all the facts , yet. But Mom messed up also. Come on Tough, Old prosecuting attorney take her down too.

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Razrbacker196107030755 says... September 7, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.

THIS idiot SHOULD have been fired about his THIRD suspension, or so....My prediction is that the family has a damn good lawsuit on their hands....and a settlement in their future. He was a scumbag, no doubt...but...this action was the PD's responsibility in NOT firing him long ago. Gives LEO a bad name! People don't remember the good ones...only the ones like this jagoff....hope you like your new cellmates! I 'hear" they don't like ex-cops very much...

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SunDevil says... September 7, 2012 at 5:10 p.m.

I was not at the scene and I presume none of the other commenters were either. Based only on what the story tells us, this is a bad day for police especially Officer Josh Hastings. Three car thieves approaching a police offer and they refuse to stop as instructed...what was Officer Hastings (or any other officer in his place) expected to do - say "OK, no prob boys just slow down and be carefull..." If there is truly more to the real story that what we know so far, then we need to know it. If this truly is the real story then I think the prosecutor's office needs a deluge of protest from the citizenry of Little Rock and none of us should expect the LRPD to stick its neck out for us. This isn't right.

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Whodini says... September 7, 2012 at 5:34 p.m.

Without further investigating all facts no one realky knows da truth people should stop making negative judgemental comments until the entire story is out. The police force may have taken one for da team; God knows they've gotten away with numerous errors themselves! Ouch dis is gonna cost big team that's what happens when u keep crooked cops on da force...

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