A young man, 19 years old, by the name of Michael Moore was shot by police during a traffic stop in Mobile, Alabama around dinner time on Monday, June 13 leaving him clinging to life in a driveway on Wagner Street in Toulminville. The incident did not receive much attention because it happened around the same time as the Pulse nightclub tragic mass shooting in Orlando.
The incident was filmed on a cellphone.
With further news of the police killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile on Wednesday and Thursday this week, and the subsequent shooting of 11 police officers, of whom at least five have died in a hail of bullets in addition to the suspect at a resulting protest early Friday morning in Dallas, it is not likely that news about Moore’s death will surface.
With the exception of a live, en scene report from Fox10 News reporter Alexa Knowles, there was little else to be found on mainstream media about Moore’s death. Knowles interviewed witnesses on camera who say they saw police pummel three additional bullets into Moore’s body at close range after he was laying down on the ground and then asked him to turn over. Chances are, he was already dead.
Moore’s cousin Danielle James says, “We are not trying to compare or make Mike’s death more important, we just want like all the other families, JUSTICE.”
The sentiment is the same as that of the people who witnessed the shooting, Michael Moore should not have been shot.
In a more detailed update, Mobile Police Chief “Barber told FOX10 News, “the driver did not have a driver’s license was asked to step out of the car, at that point the officer saw a weapon that he reached for and shots were fired. The suspect was hit multiple times…we have recovered a pistol as well as a magazine from the ground out here…the magazine we’re not sure where it came from.”
m.essence.com published an article with a post from Moore’s Facebook page from August 2015 while he was still in high school, in which he mentions his future plans to join the U.S. Marines, to make something of his life like his uncles and cousins, that he had a talk with his little brother and promised him and his cousins that look up to him that he would never run out on them like his father did on him.
This paints a different picture of his character than the police who said he stole the vehicle that he was driving and that was why they pulled him over. Originally they said it was because of a traffic violation.
Moore continues: “…im not gonna even put my self in a situation for them to lose me to no bull either cause im better than that im better then these “streets”…from today going forward im just gonna live life to be successful and finally be something…”
James wrote a public letter on Facebook as part of the grieving process for her and her family and as an attempt to gain justice for her cousin. With her permission and the permission of Moore’s mother and family, the letter, sent directly to Core Magazines, is below:
Fox10 News reporter interviews Mobile Police Chief James Barber and witnesses
“My cousin death was over shadowed by the tragic Orlando shooting but deserves just as much media coverage bc these senseless MURDERS by police officers need to STOP! What happened to protect and serve? These COWARDS want to justify these HOMICIDES by shouting he has a gun… NO NO NO!!
#MichaelMoore #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #DylanNoble
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
Michael Moore was born in San Diego, CA, moved to Shawnee, KS where he spent most of his childhood. He has been a resident of Mobile for 2 1/2 years prior to his death on June 13, 2016. He had a valid drivers license (which is currently in police custody) at the time of the so-called traffic stop . The officer involved in this shooting had his lights on attempting to stop the vehicle, prior to the reported traffic violation. My family will never know this officers real intentions. Michael is unable to speak his truth. What we do know is Michael’s association with any friends here in Mobile was due to his love for basketball. He didn’t judge anyone for their lifestyle. To blame him and only him for a stolen car and goods is unfair, when he was not alone in this car. Michael has no prior record of theft or violence and that is a FACT! Was he a saint, no but no teenager is. He could and should not have been the driver of that car but that should never equal death. Also worth noting, is the FACT that neither witness from inside of that car has currently admitted to saying Michael armed himself before stepping out of the car. There are many questions left unanswered. Race isn’t the issue people but here is what can’t be denied. Michael was cuffed and according to Chief Barber, supposedly the weapon was in his right rear waist. This would have been visible when he was cuffed and/or when his body was turned over as clearly seen on video. Regardless of your race or belief, that’s an important question that MPD has neglected to respond too. There was no threat at the time shots were fired. Our family strongly believes God will not allow anything but the truth and justice to prevail. Please know that we have no malice or hatred towards police officers because our family consist of several Mobile officers as well as military members.
~ Shunta(Mother of Michael Moore) & family of Michael Moore”
In the video Chief Barber attests that “it is an officer-involved shooting and that they will be reviewing all the evidence and statements.
He also confirms that “the suspect has been shot multiple times.”
Barber adds that the shooting is being investigated by internal affairs and at least four witnesses have been detained for questioning. According to Knowles, there were two other people in the car with Moore.
Moore did not have any ID, Knowles reported. She said that the officer saw the suspect reach for a gun when he was asked to get out of the car and that’s when the officer started shooting.
One of at least two witnesses saw the police officer shoot Moore as he got out of the car, then “the boy fell on the ground and the police stood over the boy and shot him three more times.”
It was reported that the officer pulled the car over after it cut in front of another vehicle. Moore was transported to the nearby USA Medical Center. He did not survive.
About three weeks after the shooting Officer Harold “Harry” Hurst is now on administrative duty, when the Mobile Police Department stated that he would be placed on administrative leave.
Citizens of the small town are outraged over Moore’s death and are organizing in protest despite little response from politicians and a lack of media attention.
Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird