(INDIANOLA, Miss.) — Ken Featherstone, the mayor of Indianola, Mississippi, urged his community to “trust the process” amid an investigation into the police shooting of 11-year-old Aderrien Murry after he reportedly called 911 for help during a domestic disturbance at his home.
Featherstone spoke out about the incident, which has drawn national attention, in an interview with ABC News on Wednesday after the shooting rocked Indianola – a small town with a population of less than 10,000 located in the northern part of Mississippi in Sunflower County.
He told ABC News that “emotions are raw” and that there’s “a lot of unease right now.”
“To the citizens of Indianola – trust the process, please be patient. We’re trying to do everything by the book, and not make any mistakes that will embarrass our town,” Featherstone said. “A lot has happened and we’ve gotten a lot of negative press as a result of this. I’m a brand new mayor, just a little over a year into my office. [This is] certainly not the kind of media attention I would have liked to bring to Indianola.”
Aderrien was shot by an officer in the early morning of May 20 after the boy called 911 when his mother’s ex-boyfriend showed up at their home and his mother asked him to call police, she told ABC News. The boy was released from the hospital last week.
The 11-year-old spoke about the harrowing experience in an exclusive interview that aired on “Good Morning America” and “GMA3” on Tuesday.
“I came out of the room like this,” Aderrien said with his hands above his head as he reflected on the incident in an interview with “GMA3” co-anchor DeMarco Morgan.
“It felt like a Taser, like a big punch to the chest,” he added.
Featherstone said that he met with Aderrien after the shooting and he and his wife delivered a care package to the Murry home over the weekend.
“Our thoughts and our prayers go out to him as well as his family,” the mayor said, adding that he knew Aderrien before the shooting because he supported the boy’s little league football team.
“We would see each other at football games … we would see each other around town,” he said. “He’s a big hugger, great kid, wishing all the best for him. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to him as well as his family for [a] full recovery.”
The Murry family filed a federal lawsuit against the city and police on Tuesday, claiming that the boy was shot without warning after he and his family members were ordered by police to leave their house.
The suit, filed in Mississippi federal court on behalf of Aderrien and his mother, Nakala Murry, claims the officer who fired the gun, Greg Capers, was “reckless.”
“This is a claim for negligence and excessive force,” said the complaint.
The Indianola Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
ABC News has also attempted to reach the officers named in the lawsuit.
Featherstone, who previously identified Capers as the officer who shot Aderrien to ABC News, confirmed Wednesday that Capers “was suspended with pay pending psychological examination.”
The lawsuit was filed amid an ongoing investigation into the incident by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Featherstone said that the MBI “will complete their investigation very soon” and the case will be turned over to the state’s attorney general’s office.
“They will make their recommendations from that point,” he said.
Featherstone addressed the “public outcry” calling for the release of the police body camera video of the incident and said that the video is currently “in the possession of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.”
“At some point, they will render their findings and they will be turned back on over to us,” he said.
Asked about a timeline for its release, Featherstone said that the city had a special meeting on the incident with the city aldermen on Tuesday and they decided not to release it yet due to “pending litigation.”
“We didn’t want to taint the process at all,” he said. “The board voted overwhelmingly to follow the advice of legal counsel.”
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the state AG did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
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