What took so long for William Chapman to lose his job? Good judgement and the ability to make responsible decisions are an essential part of police work. Even though former Portsmouth Police Officer Stephen Rankin, 36, had already displayed questionable judgement in not just one, but TWO shootings, officials in Portsmouth apparently weren’t alarmed.
That is until yesterday, when Rankin was finally indicted for first degree murder. Rankin had already previously been on trial in a civil case for the killing of an unarmed man in 2011. Rankin was finally indicted yesterday in Portsmouth, Virginia for killing the second unarmed man in less than four years.
In April 2015 he killed teen William Chapman. In April 2011 Rankin killed Kirill Denyakin. Both had no weapons on them at the time Rankin killed them. Though the NAACP put out a statement declaring that Rankin’s indictment, “sends a strong message throughout our community that the badge is not above the law and those who betray the public trust by not valuing the dignity of human life will be held accountable,” everyone knows an indictment doesn’t mean justice.
Just last week an officer in North Carolina who shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, who was asking for help, is now cleared after an indictment months ago.