Since the beginning of this nation, people of color have been attacked for no reason other than the color of their skin. Today’s story is about Archie “Artie” Elliott III, Archie Elliot, and it’s a grim one – but it needs to be told so that he doesn’t get forgotten and the police can’t hide their crime.
The Traffic Stop
It started with a routine traffic stop. An officer pulled over Elliot because he was driving erratically.
A few sobriety tests later and it was ruled that Artie was over the legal limit and he was detained for driving under the influence of alcohol.
He stepped out of the vehicle and complied with the officers. They searched him – and this is the important part – and the officers found no weapons or contraband.
His hands were cuffed behind his back and the officer placed Elliot under arrest.
Around this time, a second officer arrived at the scene to answer the first officer’s call for backup. The officers are on record saying that they took the handcuffed Archie Elliot, placed him in the passenger seat of the police cruiser, and put on his seatbelt.
The facts up until this point make the following events especially hard to understand.
Both officers stood outside of the car and talked for a moment. Archie “Artie” Elliott III was still in the passenger seat of the police car with his hands handcuffed behind his back.
The officers report that they glanced over and say Artie with a gun in his hand, pointed at the officers, with his right index finger on the trigger.
The police then shot 22 rounds at the young Artie, hitting him 14 times. The shots pierced his arm, chest, right hand, and buttocks.
He was pronounced dead while still handcuffed in the police car’s passenger seat.
After Archie Elliot was killed, they reportedly found an unloaded handgun on his person. This is directly opposed to the police’s file that claimed he had no weapon on him prior to being detained.
The result is probably exactly what you hoped it wouldn’t be. Neither police officer was criminally indicted by a grand jury. The U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t hear the case, and the police internal affairs cleared both officers.
It was later determined that the officer didn’t search Archie “Artie” Elliott III properly, and the gun was in fact his.
So, that brings us to a few questions. How did they not find the firearm? How did an intoxicated Elliot pull a gun and aim it at officers, despite being handcuffed and wearing a seat belt? Why did the officers fire so many rounds?
Importantly – why were the officers free to walk? Why have so many people never heard of Archie Elliot?
These sad questions go without answers. The least we can do is read this story and carry a piece of Archie in our hearts and our thoughts.