ACLU: Tell us the names of cops who shot Trenton teen
But the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says the public deserves more information.
"Law enforcement officials have been less than forthcoming about further details of the shooting," the ACLU said in a statement released Thursday about the charges against 14-year-old Radazz Hearns.
Among other things, the ACLU wants the names of the state trooper and Mercer County sheriff’s officer who were involved in the shooting in Trenton on Aug. 7.
Hearns was shot seven times but survived. He faces several charges — aggravated assault; unlawful possession of a handgun; and possession of a defaced firearm.
A joint statement by the trooper's attorney Robert A. Ebberup and Christopher Burgos, president of the state trooper's union released earler this week said the officers were "in fear of imminent and deadly harm from a 14 year old youth who was in possession of a firearm."
But the ACLU notes witnesses have disputed that account "and say Hearns was unarmed and ran away from the officers."
The ACLU wants the state Attorney General's Office to provide more details, saying in a letter to the office that it's only released "scant information about the shooting to Radazz's family and the broader Trenton community."
“In a matter such as this, the growing number of unanswered questions and absence of transparency can serve to exacerbate any distrust and division between community members and law enforcement," the letter continues. "Absent a specific, particularized, and credible threat to the safety of the officers or their families, parents should not be left to wonder who shot their child.”
The Attorney General's Office said Thursday it's aware of the ACLU statement, but doesn't have plans to release the names of the offices.
"As a general rule, we do not release the names of individuals who are under investigation and who have not been charged with a crime," spokesman Peter Aseltine said.