Unarmed Civilians Charged With Cops Murder (Part 2)

Part 2: Conclusion/Cases in Arizona  

While Illinois has changed the felony murder rule in their state, the other 12 states have not made any adjustments. More cops have gotten away with murder and innocent people have been paying for their actions. 


Illinois adjusted their felony murder law because they had almost half of the 22 cases involving the rule happen in their state. Also, officer Antonio Dicarlo that killed Marquise Sampson got awarded a “Superintendent’s Award for Valor.” While Tevin Louis is sitting in jail for his actions, he is getting awarded for honorary bravery and that was causing serious controversy. Arizona is one of the 13 states that have the felony murder rule and have had cases where cops have been convicting others for their murderous actions. Unlike Illinois, there has been no change to the felony murder law in Arizona and that has cost young people their lives. 


The most recent case that happened in Arizona is the case of Jacob Harris. On Jan. 11, 2019, Harris and a group of people went and robbed a Whataburger. Officers on special assignment with the Phoenix Police had been surveilling the group all day and watched them rob the fast-food restaurant. Once the group left, the six unmarked cars with officers followed them around discreetly for miles. Officer David Norman then released a small device to pop a tire to stop the car, then Officer Charles Holton threw a flash grenade. Confused that it was gunfire, an officer gunned down Jacob Harris after he took seven steps trying to flee the car. Harris was shot within three seconds, shot three times, and died within an hour. All the people in the car were charged with first-degree murder of Jacob Harris. A trial for Harris’s murder has not happened yet, but the people he was with are all in jail being charged with his murder.   


In 2014 on March 18, Jessica Hicks and her boyfriend Craig Uran were spotted by police getting into a truck Uran had stolen. Uran had pointed a gun at the police and a chase started. They went on for a while until police cars and a tank were positioned to stop them, but Uran pulled into a parking garage. While in the garage, Uran carjacked a woman and Hicks helped get her keys. When escaping the garage, they were rammed by a police tank and two police trucks. Less than a minute after the car was stopped, officer David Norman shot through the car hitting Craig Uran in the head. Police then forced Hicks out of the window, cuffed her, and pushed her face into the ground (video). Jessica Hicks was charged with auto theft, armed robbery, and first degree murder of her boyfriend Craig Uran. Even though Hicks was a transient and Uran had a criminal record, this does not change the fact that what happened to them was excessive.


The facts in the Jessica Hicks case are often ignored because of her and her boyfriend’s history. When the car they were in got jammed by police, many witnesses said that they looked almost unconscious and not moving that much. Some officers said they saw Uran reaching for a gun, but after he was shot, they found no gun inside the car. Many witnesses said that while police reported Hicks was somewhat resisting, she actually was not so the force they used on her was excessive. The main problem with the felony murder rule is that the crime is most likely over when an officer kills someone and charges the accompliances. For Hick’s case, retired Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fields who reviewed the shooting stated, “The armed robbery was over and there was no killing during that armed robbery,” said Fields. “The event was over. It was during the arrest that he was killed. There was not a murder that occurred while the felony was being committed. As a prosecutor, I wouldn’t touch this” (AZ Central). Jessica Hicks eventually decided to take a plea deal for armed robbery and theft for a return of a five-year sentence. She has been released on probation for two years, but that will never take away the memory of seeing her boyfriend killed.


The felony murder law doesn’t only give police more power, it also gives prosecutors unnecessary power as well. Officers and prosecutors work very close together and the felony murder rule gives them extra authority over citizens to act the way they want to. Prosecutors can charge people with first-degree murder to cover up the wrong doings of a cop when they are unarmed and not even at the scene of the crime. They usually don’t get help from the families of victims because the families believe they are charging the wrong people. In the case of Jacob Harris, his father, Roland Harris had been asked to help prosecutors with the case and had

refused. “Why would I want to participate in you guys convicting innocent kids instead of going after the people that did it?,” said Harris’s father. “Call me when you’re convicting the police officers’” (Buzzfeed News). No police officers have been indicted or punished for their actions in any of the 22 felony murder rule cases. In fact, one of the officers in Arizona, Dave Norman, who had been responsible for both the murder of Jacob Harris and Craig Uran, went on a podcast after he retired last year and made a joke about officer involvement shootings. “The majority of my career, you get an officer-involved shooting and get three days off. So you kind of hope it’s on your Friday,” said Norman (Blue Line Millennial). He now runs a company that gives tactical training to law enforcement officers. Dave Norman joking about officer involved shooting shows how much he didn’t care to think about other people being in jail for his actions. While Illinois has eliminated the rule, one state isn’t enough. The 12 other states are waiting for a young person to make a mistake that they don’t know will cost them their life. The felony murder rule gives these states too much power, puts all people in danger, and makes making mistakes punishable by life.

Jacob Harris’s father, Roland Harris, honoring his son’s memory. (Buzzfeed News)
Craig Uran’s girlfriend, Jessica Hicks being led away by police after Uran’s killing. (AZ Central)