Former Police Officer in West Memphis Boy's Death Files Ethics Complaint

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The former West Memphis police officer who fatally wounded a 12-year-old boy has filed an ethics complaint with a state judicial panel, accusing a circuit judge of writing a "racially motivated and charged order."

David Stewart, director of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, said Friday the panel won't take any action on former Sergeant Erik Sammis' complaint until the Arkansas Supreme Court rules on whether Crittenden County Circuit Judge Victor Hill has authority to call a grand jury to investigate the shooting.

Stewart released Sammis' December 10 complaint and a response letter from Hill.  Such documents are normally kept confidential, but Stewart said Hill waived his right to confidentiality.  Stewart says the panel is waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on the issue before going forward.

DeAunta Farrow died after he was shot June 22 by Sammis, who thought the boy was carrying a gun and refused to obey orders to halt.  Sammis was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Arkansas State Police, the U.S. Justice Department and the West Memphis Internal Affairs Bureau.  Two special prosecutors assigned to the case said Sammis committed no prosecutable offense in fatally shooting the boy.

Sammis later resigned, but Hill called a grand jury to investigate the shooting, but the prosecutors appealed to the high court, saying their investigation was on-going and Hill does not have the authority to call a grand jury in the case.  A ruling is pending.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)