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Officer Charged With Murder in Shooting of 12-Year-Old

A fired Philadelphia police officer was charged with murder in the shooting of a fleeing 12-year-old boy, who prosecutors said Monday was on the ground and unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot, the Associated Press reports. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced first- and third-degree murder charges against former officer Edsaul Mendoza in the shooting of Thomas “T.J.” Siderio on March 1, saying video showed to the grand jury contradicts the officer’s version of events. Police say the youth had first fired a shot at an unmarked police car, injuring one of four plainclothes officers inside. Mendoza, 26, was also charged with voluntary manslaughter and other charges. He had been suspended March 8. Mendoza surrendered Sunday and was denied bail, rare treatment for former law enforcement officers facing charges.

Krasner said much of the evidence was based on the video, which has not been publicly released. The video showed Siderio had thrown a gun down about 40 feet before he was shot and that he had dropped to the ground, either tripping or obeying a command to get down. Krasner said the officer crossed between two parked cars and, from about half a car length away, fired the fatal shot from the sidewalk behind the youth. Prosecutors created a composite video from two cameras, one that recorded clear visuals of the foot chase and another that caught sound.


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