Ex-Little Rock officer liable in teen's shooting death, ordered to pay $415,000 to family


Photographs by Jeff Mitchell

Sylvia Perkins is hugged by family members while her attorney speaks with reporters after a jury decision Thursday in Perkins’ suit against former Little Rock police officer Josh Hastings over the 2012 killing of her son. “I just wanted him to admit what he did,” she said.

When the verdict came in Thursday in her favor, the mother of a teenage burglary suspect who was fatally shot by a former Little Rock police officer in 2012 cried so hard that she shook.


FILE — Former Little Rock police officer Josh Hastings arrives with his mother, Jan, on April 13, 2017, at the federal courth... + Enlarge


Family members celebrate outside the federal courthouse Thursday after a jury found former Little Rock police officer Josh Ha... + Enlarge

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titleist10 says...

Break the law reap the benefits

Posted 14 April 2017, 8 a.m. Suggest removal

GOHOGS19 says...

I don't see why anyone will want to be a police officer in the near future

Posted 14 April 2017, 8:25 a.m. Suggest removal

cableguy says...

jkc78 are you saying that police officers should shoot people for stealing and tries to get away? You do know there are many countries in the Middle East where your mindset is more in line.

Posted 14 April 2017, 8:56 a.m. Suggest removal

purplebouquet says...

Is that a practical verdict? How likely is it that the police officer, now a delivery driver, will be able to pay this amount of money? From nothing comes nothing. Or is there some sort of insurance for all law enforcement officers that pays up in cases like this? What happens if he can't pay?

Posted 14 April 2017, 9:03 a.m. Suggest removal

Nodmcm says...

jkc...because they get to be mean to people and dominate people and harass the new boyfriend of their ex-wife or ex-girlfriend. They get to call people "boy" no matter what their age. They get paid to be a bully. If policemen really had to follow the law and wear the body cameras, many of them would find another line of work.

Posted 14 April 2017, 9:07 a.m. Suggest removal

Whippersnapper says...

...and now, the former officer will declare bankruptcy, this debt will be wiped away, and he will move on with his life. What will this have accomplished? Lots of money for the plaintiff's attorney, some money for the defense attorney, and now money for the bankruptcy attorney. Pretty much nothing for the family of the dead criminal. I sense a pattern here, and it ain't justice whichever side you agreed with.

Posted 14 April 2017, 9:22 a.m. Suggest removal

RaylanGivens says...

Forget police officer, who would want to be police chief if you can get sued for the action of hundreds that work for you. I guess this means we will start seeing CEO's of trucking companies get sued when their driver has a wreck, NFL team owners sued when one of their players ends the career of another player due to an illegal hit, etc, etc.

Posted 14 April 2017, 9:36 a.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

Was this an all black jury?
Don't think this type of debt qualifies for bankruptcy whooper... but being a climate change denier expert you can't know everything.

And besides who says there is justice? Everyday we see either too little punishment or too severe punishment in these little online snippets.

Perhaps if things go much further with the biggest guys on the block getting ready to duke it out being lead by egotistical primates We may not have to worry about the future.

Posted 14 April 2017, 9:52 a.m. Suggest removal

drs01 says...

The problem with this verdict is ..whereto start? First, Hastings doesn't have the money. He can't pay his defense attorney from the two criminal cases. Second, the prospects of him getting rich from his current career is nil. Third, the real problem with this case is what will happen if the judge decides to include the city of Little Rock and former police chief back into this case. Deeper pockets. Fourth, what the hell are we doing when we reward a woman for being a bad parent. Her son was out stealing at 5am on a school night. Where was she and all those rejoicing relatives pictured when it came to parenting this punk?

Posted 14 April 2017, 10:17 a.m. Suggest removal

Whippersnapper says...

Bankruptcy wipes out debts incurred via court judgments. They might be able to get a lien on his house or other current assets to survive the bankruptcy proceedings, but if he declares bankruptcy the worst they can do to him is take his current assets and he ends up owing nothing to them.
That's federal law, but I wouldn't expect you to understand that. He can declare Chapter 7 and unless the jury proved that the actions that caused the debt were based on malicious or fraudulent acts (neither of which is part of this ruling), this debt would be discharged (oh, and the family to whom the debt was owed would have to file to prove that in the Bankruptcy Court as well). Even if the jury specifically decided he was malicious or fraudulent, he could file Chapter 13 (which requires him to make a limited amount of repayment) and then the debt would still be discharged.
Here's the list of things that AREN'T discharged by bankruptcy under section 523 of the US Bankruptcy code. You will note that awards by a jury are not on that list.
ww w.law.cornell. edu/uscode/text/11/523
Go ahead and whine, chuckles. One of us can read and research, and the other believes in anthropogenic global warming.

Posted 14 April 2017, 10:48 a.m. Suggest removal

Whippersnapper says...

If the city and department get added back in with their deeper pockets, it invalidates the entire thing. The reason people don't sue folks like this as individuals is because those people can declare bankruptcy to get out of paying any debt accrued, so lawyers usually drop the case as soon as the deep pockets are dropped out. If the deeper pockets are added back, they can (and will) claim that they were deprived of due process by not being involved and that the judgment can't be held against them unless there is a separate trial in which the defendants prove that the officer was following policy or had a track record of this sort of thing.

Posted 14 April 2017, 10:52 a.m. Suggest removal

MsShanLPN2B says...

It's not about money. It's about justice for the young man

Posted 14 April 2017, 12:18 p.m. Suggest removal

Whippersnapper says...

So, the police officer will not go to jail. He will not be harmed financially. Only lawyers will profit. How is that "justice for the young man?"

Posted 14 April 2017, 1:25 p.m. Suggest removal

LRDawg says...

He IS harmed financially....liens, garnishments, there are ways to recoup some of what he owes. He's also been found responsible for the death of another person....that's justice! Too bad the prior juries didnt see him with the same eyes as LRPD....they fired the guy and charged him with manslaughter. He should be locked away!

Posted 14 April 2017, 1:45 p.m. Suggest removal

cableguy says...

Great point LRDawg. The police department that Officer Hastings work for believe he was in the wrong, but most these hillbillies think differently or should I say don't think. Honestly, if these people think that this 15 year old boy deserve to die for petty thief then, it shouldn't be a stretch for someone to believe people that discriminate and harm people should die too.

Posted 14 April 2017, 2:35 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

Let's be honest, Moore may have been guilty of 'petty theft,' but his career as a criminal was just beginning. I shed no tear over his death. As cold as it may seem, society is better off. As is his next victim. Justice WAS ultimately served even if excessive for 'petty theft.' As LRPD, I think they caved to pressure with charging him. I was surprised Hastings was charged. However, he was a BAD officer who should have been fired years ago. For THAT, I have a hard time believing it wasn't due to his uncle and father. Therefore, they DO share culpability even if Terry is a "nice guy."
Lastly, this trial was about squeezing the city for money. No doubt the family finds it unfortunate that the city was dropped by the judge. They rolled the dice and hopefully come up relatively empty.

Posted 14 April 2017, 2:49 p.m. Suggest removal

titleist10 says...

Drso1-I agree why you bad parenting

Posted 14 April 2017, 6:44 p.m. Suggest removal

Whippersnapper says...

He is not going to be harmed any more financially than he was just by being tried for murder twice. He is probably buried in debt up to his eyeballs for attorney's fees, and if he declares bankruptcy, all that debt will vanish. Poof. So, he was likely just waiting until they got the judgment against him to add to the mountain of debts he will discharge by declaring bankruptcy. Imagine that he owed $150k for lawyers for his two previous trials (wild guess, but it likely would have been a big number). All his assets were already under liens. Now he has another $415k that he owes this family (plus more for his latest lawyers). Yes, there are (and already were) liens on his assets, but when he declare bankruptcy, he walks away from everything and starts over and they can never seize future assets to satisfy this judgment. He is no more harmed financially by this outcome than he was before the trial started, and because the liens on his assets existed before this judgment, they get preference when the assets are sold off to pay his debts.
Once again, the family will get nothing, the former officer is no worse off, and the attorneys rake in all the cash. You have a truly unique idea of justice.

Posted 14 April 2017, 6:44 p.m. Suggest removal

LSS says...

So her 15 year old no more than a few days before carjacked a woman at gunpoint, and almost the next day was out AGAIN in the wee hours of the morning stealing cars and the mother hits payday.
And this police officer's life is ruined.

Posted 14 April 2017, 7:25 p.m. Suggest removal

Whippersnapper says...

The police officer's life was ruined the day the city fired him and let him be hung out to dry on criminal charges. This judgment will not cost him anything extra (it will be discharged in bankruptcy) and it will not provide a windfall for the parents of the dead crook. It will simply provide them more evidence for their belief that the system is stacked against them.

Posted 15 April 2017, 1:55 p.m. Suggest removal

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