Franklin County, OH — As TFTP reported at the beginning of the year, in juvenile court, a 16-year-old boy intervened after a police officer allegedly pushed his mother against the wall—so the police officer shot and killed him. Now, it’s just been announced that the officer who killed the unarmed boy was justified in doing so.
A Franklin County Grand Jury ruled that Deputy Richard Scarborough, who shot and killed the unarmed boy, was justified and his use of deadly force “reasonable under the law.”
The boy who was killed in January for allegedly intervening to help his mother fend off a cop was Joseph Haynes and he was unarmed.
As ABC 6 reports, Karen Haynes says as they were leaving the courtroom, she blocked the deputy with her arm and he pinned her to the wall. She says her son was coming to her defense when he grabbed the deputy by the shoulders. That’s when Haynes says Scarborough grabbed Joseph, flipping him on to the ground, and was on top of him when the shot was fired.
Video of the aftermath was taken by Constance Gadell-Newton, Juvenile Defense Attorney for Franklin County Ohio who witnessed the lethal altercation and pulled out her camera to document it.
In the video, we can see Haynes’ mother hysterical after her son lay dying on the floor of the courtroom. Infuriatingly enough, instead of attempting to call for help or render aid to the boy bleeding out on the floor, police call in back up to remove Haynes family.
“Oh my god you killed my son!” Haynes’ mother screams in horror. At this point officers then begin to forcibly remove the mother and the grandmother who are in obvious shock after witnessing Joseph’s killing.
When asked if there was surveillance footage of the shooting, Chief Rick Minerd, of the Sheriff’s Office investigative subdivision said that the video doesn’t provide a view of the altercation.
“That video is not as fruitful as we would have liked, in terms of what it shows,” Minerd said at the time. “And so we’re hopeful there’s other information out there.”
Apparently there was no other information and the grand jury has spoken.
Below is the report on the original incident.
The single shot which killed Haynes was fired, police say, in self-defense but family members are disputing that claim. The boy’s grandmother Geraldine Haynes said she witnessed the entire incident. In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, the grandmother recounted the incident.
They had an altercation in the courtroom. The judge gave us another court date and we were leaving. The cop told Karen (boy’s mother) to get out of the courthouse and wouldn’t let her get her stuff or nothing. And then he (cop) started going over and pushing her against the wall.
That’s when she says her grandson, Joseph, allegedly stepped in to defend his mother from the officer’s manhandling.
Joey told him to leave his mom alone, leave his mom alone, so Joey ran over there and grabbed ahold of his (cop) shoulder. The cop let loose of Karen and slung Joey onto the ground. And when he slung Joey onto the ground…he just quit (fighting with the cop). All of a sudden the cop reaches for his gun and shoots him.
The grandmother went on to tell reporters she was mere inches away from her grandson when she saw him get shot and killed by the only man in the courtroom with a gun, the cop. She said she can still recall smelling the gunpowder and being in a state of shock.
And I just said, “You shot my grandson! You shot my grandson!”
When asked if Joseph attempted to reach for the officer’s gun the grandmother emphatically stated the boy had his hands raised in a surrender position. “No,” he did not reach for the officer’s gun she said. She said she witnessed the entire incident and said police ushered them out of the courtroom and wouldn’t let them be with their son and grandson as he lay dying on the floor.
Tragically, first responders and emergency room personnel were unable to save the boy’s life, who was shot once in the abdomen.
Following the shooting, the Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement in support of their police officer. Executive Vice President Keith Ferrell said:
Whenever somebody attacks an officer, there’s always a weapon involved, always because the officer is always armed…There’s always likelihood, the probability, that that person could get your weapon, incapacitate you with a non-lethal weapon, and then get your sidearm. We’re trained, absolutely that you can’t allow that to happen…It was very clear to me, and in my experiences, that he was attacked and this was a fight for his life at some point.
Not only was Ferrell not present, but the only person giving an eyewitness account of the shooting, the boy’s grandmother, stands by her version of events which led to her grandbaby’s death.
Various news reports have made it a point to mention Haynes’ prior run-ins with the law, stating the teenager had already been charged with various crimes. But the fact remains. An unarmed boy was killed in a courtroom defending his mother from an armed man who was reportedly running roughshod over her.