Deputy Who Shot Arkansas Teen Fired For Leaving Body Cam Off

Jul 1, 2021

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley speaks with distraught family and friends of Hunter Brittain on June 23. The teen was shot during a traffic stop earlier in the day and died at a hospital.
Credit KATV-Channel 7

An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a teenager during a traffic stop was fired Thursday after the sheriff said he did not activate his body camera until after the shooting took place.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said Sgt. Michael Davis was fired after it was discovered he didn’t follow the agency’s body camera policy in the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Hunter Brittain on June 23.

The sheriff’s office has released few details about the shooting, which is being investigated by Arkansas State Police. Staley said the agency’s policy requires officers to activate their cameras before interacting with the public.

“My review of this deputy’s actions has determined that he did not activate his body camera in a timely way,” Staley said in video released on the office’s Facebook page. “This means there’s no video of the actual shooting. We see the aftermath, but not the shooting.”

Davis is white, as was Brittain. Brittain’s family members and friends have protested nightly outside the sheriff’s office since the shooting and have complained about lack of details released. Family members have said Brittain was unarmed at the time of shooting and was holding a jug of antifreeze.

Davis had been with the sheriff’s office since 2013.