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story.lead_photo.caption A frame grab from Little Rock police dash cam video shows Officer Charles Starks being escorted from the scene of a deadly police shooting on Feb. 22.

The Little Rock Police Department released its investigative report into a police officer who fatally shot 30-year-old Bradley Blackshire during a Feb. 22 traffic stop, with documents showing the officer telling investigators he “blacked out” and couldn’t remember key parts of the shooting.

The documents obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Thursday come days after prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Officer Charles Starks, who repeatedly shot his gun into Blackshire’s car during a traffic stop near West 12th Street and South Rodney Parham Road.

Prosecutors on Friday cleared Starks of any criminal charges, affirming his use of force was justified because Blackshire accelerated toward the officer.


Officer Charles Starks investigative file


Video released weeks ahead of the decision shows Starks firing at least 15 times into the car, including while the car continued to move as Starks lay on the hood, still shooting.

Blackshire died at the scene.

Investigative files containing interviews with Starks after the shooting state he recalled the vehicle striking his leg, and Starks acknowledged the car wasn’t accelerating violently before he began shooting.

He could not recall when or how he ended up on Blackshire’s car, but said he felt he was going to be run over and killed.

“Officer Starks stated there was a period of time he did not remember or had blacked out,” the report said.

Footage of the encounter captured from multiple sources shows Starks pull up to Blackshire and repeatedly order him out of the car.

Starks can be heard saying “get out of the car, dude” and speaking into his radio telling dispatchers he had Blackshire at gunpoint as he ordered the man to show his hands.

Blackshire can be heard asking what he did before saying: “What are you gonna shoot me for?”

Starks begins shooting as the car moves toward him, the dash camera video shows.

“I was absolutely convinced in that moment that that’s how I was gonna die,” Starks said in an interview with detectives.

Video captured from another officer -- identified as Michael Simpson -- shows him speed into the parking lot and hit Blackshire’s car, while Starks continues firing on the car’s hood.

Investigators noted 13 bullet holes in the front windshield and on the hood of the Nissan Altima. Another bullet hit a nearby car.

Starks was treated and released from the hospital on the same day.

Police have said officers stopped Blackshire after the rental Nissan he was driving was flagged as being stolen.

His passenger, 21-year-old Desaray Clarke, told officers Blackshire had a gun after she was handcuffed, and Blackshire had been reaching into his pocket before Starks fired, documents show.

Police recovered a handgun in the car Blackshire was in, reports show. The report shows the gun police recovered was in “plain view” on the passenger side front floorboard with a bullet in the chamber.

The state Crime Lab registered the gun as being stolen.

A witness told investigators Blackshire and another person had been smoking drugs before the shooting, and investigators found a white powdery substance and a rolled up bill in the car.

The Crime Lab’s report said the powder didn’t test positive for cocaine, and medical files within the report were sealed.

The heavily redacted investigative file reviewed by the Democrat-Gazette contains hundreds of pages of reports, interviews and forensic testing that were forwarded to the prosecutor's office.

Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley declined to criminally charge Starks, saying in a letter Friday that “the use of deadly force by Mr. Blackshire was as imminent as a stepped on accelerator and no different from a pulled trigger."

Disciplinary reports show Starks had several complaints lodged against him that led to more than two week’s worth of suspensions.

In 2016, Starks was suspended for 10 days without pay after getting into a fight at a movie theater and failing to identify himself as a police officer, according to a suspension letter.

A superior officer recommended Starks be fired, citing the fight and other past employment issues, and writing in a report that “he has been a difficult employee to manage” and “seems to gravitate toward conflict.”

The department relieved Starks of police duty days after the shooting, stripping him of his badge and gun and the ability to do any police work.

He has remained on the city’s payroll for the duration of the investigation.

The shooting and decision to later not charge Starks have prompted a handful of demonstrations around the city calling for Starks to be fired and charged in Blackshire's death.

Following the completion of an internal review of Starks' actions, which will determine whether he violated any departmental policies, Chief Keith Humphrey will decide whether to take any disciplinary action.

Blackshire’s family and supporters have rallied multiple times, demanding the swift release of dash camera video of the shooting, as well as Starks' prosecution.

The shooting has renewed policy pushes for officer body cameras and a citizen review board to oversee the police department.

Both are efforts Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has previously pledged to enact.

The U.S. Department of Justice is also conducting a civil rights review of the shooting. A timetable hasn’t been set for the completion of that review.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story misstated who will decide on potential disciplinary action in Starks' case. Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey will make that decision.


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Archived Comments

  • mrcharles
    April 25, 2019 at 5:06 p.m.

    WELL, MBAIV, glad you said suppose as to the other that you know what you know, but let me add you have demonstrated you are biased one way. as to talking, I suppose you do talk. as to a primate I will take odds on that you are , wanna bet?

    as to the wish of the bleedin heart in the crime scene tape, such a wish for a talking primate, lets say hypothetically they are not biased [ or not] , you would make a poster boy for a trump ilk or at the very least a standard gop Ilk , if you cant reason , like those types usually only do as to them knowing all, but if you dont the violence and wish for others to suffer violence is just standard operating procedure. Now we know why ISIS exists, there belief resembles this procedure. Therefore you had no point mbaiv, and thank you very much, you may go now.

    lr1955, I know you are what am I. Seriously, I understand that there is the theory that a god came down to mere mortals to show them that a god has no other way than that to show mere mortals an idea that god can impress god. I would ask then are you one of them gods, or are you not biased. If not biased, perhaps you should run for office , which would be a welcomed change from what we got now.

    Seems to be a lot of love going on today here between the talking primates, or typing primates.

    Remember determinism is not a thing, at the smallest level,the quantum level it is just a statistical thing.

  • Marie1942
    April 25, 2019 at 5:11 p.m.

    Foghorn, Tabitha McCrillis and Donna Lesher murdered Eugene Ellison and didn't get fired. Both STILL on the force as far as I know. So, don't hold your breath.

  • LRCrookAtty
    April 25, 2019 at 5:54 p.m.

    MRC..." have demonstrated you are biased one way."
    And you have too. You are a racist, cop hating, religion hating bigot held over from the 70s. You spout your "primate-talking" crap on every post in here. As long as you can tell everyone willing to read that you hate religion, every black that dies is some white man's fault and that every cop is out to kill the black man, you have succeeded in your daily calling. It is people like you that perpetuate the racist agenda of the few racist still left in this country. Your hate and bigotry will die out soon, for you, sir, are a dying breed.

    April 25, 2019 at 6:20 p.m.

    MRCHARLES - You bet. I am biased. I am biased when it comes to stupidity, closed mindedness, racism, the far-left, the far-right, coddling of criminals, professional politicians and a whole list of additional items. I might even be biased against the use of "ilk" by some commenters. So as you disparage a political independent, you might look in the mirror and ask why you are such an angry lefty lashing out at those who have opinions different than yours.

  • mrcharles
    April 25, 2019 at 6:40 p.m.

    LRCATTY, or as often called, the arrogant know it all who has all sorts of insight to real things. but for my retort, let me say as to the cop hating , you in your very best sean hannity fox like trump like ignoring facts should note from my opinion in this case is that the cop could have done things better, but the review of the prosecutor based on the law the cop who I hate was correct . I also mentioned my very conservative friends more often than not say they hate cops cause they have the audacity to be questioned by cops. So strike one, or as they say you lie. next as to racist, well lawyer most special , I am aware of the tactic to throw that out to poison the discussion by reflecting the modern day real racists racism by accusing others of being a racist. Note the man put to death in texas. As to religion, you may be on to something, see the armies of god across the world, the history of religion(s), yes you may be right. Bigot, well those are your words.your sean hannity type sophisticated lie that I state every black that dies is some white man's fault and that every cop is out to kill the black man, is worthy of MM and/or fox entertainment. The few racist left in this country, well there seems to be many here in arkansas, who every chance they get talk about blacks doing such and such and guess what never hardly attacks white who do wrong.

    I do hope your hate and bigotry types die out soon, and is actually happening but not soon enough. Reread your constant know it all statements and you will see, you just blow hot air, most arrogantly. Nothing personal, but you know got to tell it like it is.

    So , we are down to religion, but you should not be so sensitive about it, as several of the christians here do try to reach out and talk the good parts, and most likely live the good parts, unlike your propensity of hate and racism and ignoring of the good parts, but that may just be your ego talking as someone who feels more important than they are.

    Glad to have hit a nerve, couldnt think of a better know it all than you . By the way them there nigerian mullahs can be easily read about with the damage they cause human beings, but so far much less than the whore of babylon's [ see pastors of mega churches words, not mine] entities telling people not to wear condoms.

    I do commend your use of the first amendment, just as sean hannity's of the fox types have the right to give opinions, just the fake facts I have a trouble with them being lies. I know what.. I will just give you the benefit of the doubt as what you said was just a joke or was a slip of the tongue. Yes, you may go now, but be sure to read Cast off the Star in todays paper.

    April 25, 2019 at 7 p.m.

    AGAIN...stolen car, stolen gun, not complying with the officer to get out, reaching for gun, puts foot on gas peddle...gets shot. WHY WHY must that officer shot that poor man?? Because he was a thug, because he knew he was going to jail, because he tried to get away thru the officer. Luckily, the thug didn't get to his gun first. If I had to unload on someone, I'm sure I'd have a black out too, because logically it made no sense...all the guy had to do was get out of the &@! car!!

  • mrcharles
    April 25, 2019 at 7:17 p.m.

    Ilk was a favorite term of the Charles Krauthammer . he did not mind if I used it. It is just a word, but many dont like it. Cant please everyone though. Met him 8 years ago in New York. Loved his well written column [ 3/5/2004] on the Passion of the christ, perhaps all would do well to read it with its astute and correct analysis, if I do say so . Adoration for his views of DT is worthy of being reviewed by those who would seek the truth.

    Just as I thought , biased talking primates do exist here.

    reading the angry lashing out at those who have opinions different than yours. How many mirrors do we have here in arkansas?

    I will not take back my thought that the officer should be evaluated by unbiased professionals before a decision is made to fire him or not. Perhaps that was what set off LRcattyhismagesty.

  • Packman
    April 25, 2019 at 8:53 p.m.

    Hey Foggy - You silly child. Self-defense is a long standing legal concept recognized in every state in the nation. The legal concept of “a reasonable person” is ubiquitous in case law. Your ignorance, Foggy, is profound.

  • OCT
    April 25, 2019 at 9:17 p.m.

    ...that dude does not need to be a police officer. Escalates a situation, then "blacks out".
    He was tough enough to start a fist fight at the movie theater, but he can't stay cognizant when it gets real.
    Seems Stark's constitution is as weak as his chin. Get that clown off the force.

  • DANNY46
    April 26, 2019 at 12:42 p.m.

    This POS got just what he deserved!!! A rap sheet as long as your leg. A gun in the car. A stolen car. Do you people think he was an angel?? He was not raised right or he would not be in this position. They should arrest his parents!!!