Portsmouth, Virginia Police Officer Stephen Rankin Sentenced to (Just) 2.5 Years in Prison for Murder of William Chapman II

The following post was originally published at “BlackMattersUS.com” by Ken Patterson (no relation) under the original title “Police Shooting: Former Cop Sent To Prison.

Previously, this case has been reported on here at Cop Block by myself, as well as CopBlock Network Contributors Lorelei McFly and Steven Thomas. (See the “Related Posts” section below.)

Police Shooting: Former Cop Sent To Prison

Stephen Rankin has been sentenced in deadly police shooting of Black man, William Chapman II.

Following recent cases of police shootings, several cops who have perpetrated the crimes of killing unarmed Black people without being held accountable have seen numerous outcries for justice from the public.

Stephen Rankin, an ex-cop in Portsmouth, Virginia, has been sent to jail for two and a half years after being charged and convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the deadly police shooting of unarmed Black teen, William Chapman II.

18-year-old Chapman II was shot and killed April 22 last year, while Rankin was responding to a Wal-Mart shoplifting call. The state of Virginia police claimed that the officer responded to a crime incident report, which led to Rankin approaching the victim who was unarmed.

An altercation followed and a struggle ensued, which ultimately led to Rankin shooting and killing Chapman. An autopsy report showed that the deceased was shot once in the chest and once in the face.

Rankin was indicted on charges of using a gun in a felony and first-degree murder. However, Rankin’s attorney James Broccoletti claimed Rankin followed the department’s use-of-force policy.

A jury convicted Rankin of voluntary manslaughter, and on Wednesday, a Judge agreed with the jury’s recommendation and sentenced him to two and a half years in prison. Although defense attorneys asked the judge to let Rankin remain free until the appeals process is completed, but the judge ultimately denied the ruling. After the sentencing, deputies escorted Rankin out of the courtroom.

Finally, a cop gets to face the music for the crime he committed. But it doesn’t go without saying that the sentence is absolutely ridiculous.  Black teens tried as adults get longer jail terms for even lesser crimes. The preferential treatment of police officers is appalling, they have to be punished as consistent with the crimes they commit, or the punishment will not be efficient.

Source: The Grio

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Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
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