Prichard Police Officer Jonathan Murphy was arrested for murder last night and fired from his job earlier today. Murphy is charged with shooting and killing someone at an apartment complex in Mobile, Alabama while off duty. This is the second fatal shooting involving Officer Murphy in the past three years.
In 2017, Officer Murphy shot and killed Lawrence Hawkins as he sat unarmed near his truck in front of his home after Murphy followed him with his lights off for awhile (https://copblaster.com/blast/31235/lawrence-hawkins-killed-by-prichard-police-department). A cell phone was found on his body. Officer Murphy had claimed that he thought Hawkins reached for a weapon, but when the smoke cleared the worst that could be said of Hawkins was that he might have reached for his phone. That incident led to a federal wrongful death lawsuit being filed by Hawkins' family. They said that the policies and customs of the Prichard Police Department enabled officers like Murphy to get away with using the type of excessive force that he used. Those customs and policies included not making officers wear body cameras. The end result was the word of Officer Murphy vs that of a relative who said "He (Hawkins) got out his truck, reached in there to get his cell phone. The police were saying something, and all i heard was pow pow pow." Such stories are the typical result of Officers with itchy trigger fingers that jump the gun whenever they think someone might be reaching for a gun. They never wait to see what they are really reaching for, which usually is not a gun (ex: unarmed woman shot reaching for car floor where her phone was https://copblaster.com/hashtag/hannah-fizer/). Policies that permit officers to use force without seeing an actual weapon and failing to make them wear body cameras so that they can be held accountable are why these types of things happen.
Last night, Officer Murphy gunned down Larry Taylor at the Avalon Plaza Apartments in Mobile, Alabama while off duty. Mobile Police officers quickly identified Murphy as the shooter and arrested him. He is currently being held at the Mobile County Metro Jail on a charge of murder. Not much is known about the shooting at this time. Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said that they had done the easy part by arresting him and now comes the hard part of convicting him.