PHILADELPHIA — A fired Philadelphia police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting of a fleeing 12-year-old boy, who prosecutors said Monday was on the ground and unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced first- and third-degree murder charges against former Officer Edsaul Mendoza in the shooting of Thomas “T.J.” Siderio on March 1 after police allege the youth fired a shot at an unmarked police car, injuring one of four plainclothes officers inside.
According to the grand jury presentation unsealed Monday, Mendoza also was charged with voluntary murder and other offenses. Mendoza was fired after he was suspended March 8.
Court records indicate that Mendoza surrendered Sunday to the police and was refused bail. It is an unusual move by ex-law enforcers facing prosecution.
According to a spokeswoman for Fraternal Order Police Lodge 5, the union intends to send an attorney to Mendoza. Court records showed the public defender’s office represented Mendoza at his bail hearing Monday. The defender’s association didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The unsealed documents of the grand jury Monday revealed new details about the shooting, such as Siderio having thrown a gun at him approximately 40 feet before being shot. Also, the youngster had fallen to the ground either because he had tripped or had obeyed a command to do so. Krasner claimed that an officer fired his fatal shot by crossing between two vehicles parked nearby.
Krasner stated that a lot of the evidence was built on an unreleased video.
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