CLEVELAND, Miss.–The shooting of Willie Lee Bingham, Jr., on March 13, 2013, in Bolivar County is being called “unnecessary” by the attorney general’s office. Former deputy Walter Grant was indicted on manslaughter charges last week and was arrested.
Atty. Gen. Jim Hood and his office’s Public Integrity Division are pursuing the charges against Grant. The local DA’s office is recusing itself because they work closely with the sheriff’s department in prosecuting cases.
Bingham was shot in the head and died during an attempt to arrest him, says the indictment.
Grant could get 20 years if he is convicted.
The NAACP said on its website that Grant was in an unmarked car and that Bingham was trying to run away when he was shot.
The group said the family is also pursuing a civil suit against the department and Grant, who is also black.
“We are pleased that Deputy Grant has been indicted on manslaughter charges. The Mississippi NAACP hopes that this case will send a clear message to law enforcement that the shooting of unarmed individuals will be dealt with seriously. Hopefully this indictment will start the process of healing for Willie Bingham’s family,” said Derrick Johnson, President of the MS State Conference NAACP.