A New Jersey Police officer is set to face consequences for illegally releasing the mug shot of a Black teen who was shot multiple times by officers responding to reports of shots fired in the Trenton area.
14-year-old Radazz Hearns was reportedly shot seven times by NJ police officers who claimed Hearns ran and pointed a gun at them when instructed to put his hands up.
According to ABC News reports, the officers were on patrol responding to a report of shots fired in the area when they encountered Hearns and a group of others. Hearns claimed he didn’t point the weapon at the officers, but was instead attempting to discard it when they shot him. After a witness corroborated Hearns’ story, he ultimately agreed to a plea deal on charges of possession of a defaced firearm in exchange for the court agreeing to expunge record when he turned 18.
Just as the case seemed to be coming to a close, officer Christopher McKenna illegally leaked images of Hearns’ juvenile mugshot to a local newspaper. Under the law, minors’ juvenile records are ordered to be kept private in order to prevent things like difficulty finding employment or furthering their education as adults.
Officer McKenna admitted to finding and intentionally leaking Hearns’ juvenile record and has in turn been barred from securing any public employment in New Jersey. He could also face up to 364 days in prison for the offense. The former officer faces sentencing on July 29.
Seems a small price to pay for the potentially irreparable damage he likely did to this teens’ future, doesn’t it?
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