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William Chapman: Unarmed 18-Year-Old Shot Dead by Officer Who Killed Before

William Chapman (Courtesy Photo)
William Chapman (Courtesy Photo)

 

(The Guardian) – An unarmed black 18-year-old accused of shoplifting was killed by a police officer in Virginia who had been barred from patrolling city streets for almost three years after fatally shooting another unarmed man.

William Chapman was shot dead by Stephen Rankin, a white Portsmouth police officer, during a struggle in a Walmart parking lot. Rankin, 35, a US navy veteran trained in martial arts, was once disciplined for posting violent remarks and Nazi images online.

Chapman’s family likened his death to that of Michael Brown, another unarmed black 18-year-old who was suspected of a theft and shot dead following a struggle with a white officer. Brown’s death last year in Ferguson unleashed nationwide protests.

But they noted with disappointment that Chapman’s killing in April barely registered among activists and the media. “I feel alone,” said Chapman’s mother, Sallie. “Because my son is gone and because nobody is trying to help me understand why.”

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