February 9, 2010

Sergeant in unmarked car kills girl

Posted: 09:33 AM ET


Murfreesboro, TN - Ron Killings, a detective sergeant with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, had an unblemished record in his 12 years with the department–at least he did until July 17, 2008. That evening, at about 8:43 p.m., he was speeding in an unmarked patrol car when he struck and killed a child, 11-year-old Lakeisha White, as she crossed a road called Bradyville Pike in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Killings is charged with reckless homicide, based on his speed at the time of the crash. The issue at this trial is whether the fatal collision was a tragic accident or a crime. Watch live coverage of TN v. Killings this week on In Session.

– Beth Karas, In Session Correspondent


Filed under: Trials

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Darlene   February 9th, 2010 10:56 am ET

How could this not be a crime? If this wasn't a Police Officer, he would be in prison as we speak. So, leaving a helpless child to die, isn't a crime?The cover up started the night this poor child was killed. Moving the trail to another city means it continues. Had the Officer done the right thing from the beginning. Which was, think of that child laying in the road. Not of how best to cover up his wrong. This may have been a different situation. I don't see this family, nor the city of Murfressboro getting any Justice. The Civil Suit proves that, $200,000.00 was a joke!!!

hearseman   February 9th, 2010 10:58 am ET

I'm surprised that they haven't already claimed he was responding to a call. That's usually the cover up lie used to cover their illegal behavior.

Daddy Don   February 9th, 2010 11:03 am ET

I haven't seen it mentioned that the MPD threatened individuals that brought the liquor bottles to their attention. The tragic death is only part of the story, the attempted cover up is just as important. The BAC was not measured for at least 2.5 hours later after Killings had been driven to a convenience store to purchase and consume a large quantity of liquid. Focus on the protection of Killings by other law enforcement agencies.

john liberatore   February 9th, 2010 12:03 pm ET

this cop is guilty as sin. go to jail.

T Daggs   February 9th, 2010 12:19 pm ET

This is another one of those sad cases. The last few cases have included young children loosing their lives because of negligent adults, its extremely sad. This man was trying to do his job, albeit incorrectly or irresponsibly, i personally don't see this as criminal, the little girl should not have been in the road and he should have never been going as fast as he was without lights or sirens. I'm glad he lost his job because thats what he deserves, but i don't think he should go to prison. We all need to work harder to protect each other and our families.

Aaron   February 9th, 2010 12:23 pm ET

If this is true that the officer was on duty and was speeding to get to a case for back up. Why no siren lights? Also the prosecutor needs to stop establishing that this was a black neighborhood he has done it twice already. I found this to be not important.

tgrb   February 9th, 2010 12:27 pm ET

WOW! That's three in a row, now. Was it a crime or tragic accident? The Michael Jackson trial isn't going to give us anything different and that makes four. A country bumkin gets acquitted while a black gets jail for basically the same Darwin award. Except in a true Darwin award the stupid are supposed to take them selves out of the gene pool not others. Actually I agreed with both verdicts except that the sentence for Long was way too long. What are the odds of him ever doing that again? I call that punishment justice. Whatever.

I must disagree with Vinnie's expert defense attorney who stated that this case should never had gone to trial. That may be but when he said that even if an ordinary citizen had committed this crime it shouldn't have gone to trial either. Is he saying that an ordinary citizen going more than twice the speed limit is the same as a police officer responding to an emergency?

Tom B.   February 9th, 2010 1:00 pm ET

In NY state, where I have taught Emergency Vehicle Operation, the Vehicle/Traffic Law allows Police Officers to exceed speed limits, pass red light signals and other traffic control devices with or without emergency lights and/or siren. However if an accident or injury occurs as a result, the vehicle operator may be held criminally and civily responsible. I am aware of several emergency vehicle operators successfully prosecuted criminally for serious injuries or death related to emergency-mode operation.

Tammy   February 9th, 2010 1:04 pm ET

I am the 48 year old daughter of a retired policeman and the mother of an 11 year old daughter. The issue that troubles me the most about this case, so far, is that the officer had no lights or sirens going at the time. Children of that age are very spontaneous, but they also know that it is important to respond to lights and sirens, This little girl didn't appear to have that opportunity. We do want police to respond rapidly, but expect them to be trained to do so in a manner that does more good than harm. This case is obviously tragic, but I do expect more professionalism from those we assume will protect us.

ricky   February 9th, 2010 1:09 pm ET

he was speeding. it was therefore a crime.

Brenda   February 9th, 2010 1:09 pm ET

The Prosecutors opening comments about the genetics of the area did not seem relevant since the case is about a child that got hit by a car while crossing a country road. I think the Defense made a good opening when he explained why the Sergeant was driving so fast with his flashing lights off, and that the child may not have been familiar with how to cross those roads at night since she was only a visitor.

Keith   February 9th, 2010 1:42 pm ET

Did the prosecuter come out of Retirement,or was he raised from the dead,at his rate this case is going to last 6 months.

angie   February 9th, 2010 1:44 pm ET

police officers are notorious for violating traffic laws ironically they fine us for things they violate all day long. in every city these things go on. there was a case not to long ago about a highway patrol man that recklessly chased another car for speeding and slammed his car into a van killing to young girls going to the store to get milk for breakfast. personally a family member of mine almost lost her life because a patrol car was high speed chasing a truck with a group of drunk marines they hit a bump went airborne at 80mph hit my family menbers car head on and she almost died. the police dept. denied the high speed chase etc. etc. nobody took any responsibility for it. our lawyer could not get any reports because they got rid of them. it was very sad. should have never happened and probably wouldnt have if they would have done what was lawful and not chase that vehicle in a city its crazy. I hope this sgt. isnt above the law either. reckless homicide period.

Amy   February 9th, 2010 2:10 pm ET

Why are people getting less punishment for killing children? Drug Deals get more time and punishment than someone killing a child. Since Ron Killings is a police officer he won't get no time in jail or probation. The police always look out for each other and that's why if anything happens that concerns the police nothing will happen to them. The only thing they can say we were going to another call or I just didn't see the person. That's why the police can get away with anything!!!

CLauDia   February 9th, 2010 2:17 pm ET

Tragic story but there is so much more to it. First off, the road that he was traveling is narrow and lined with houses with children everywhere, he was going 70 mph on this road, had alcohol in his car and according to the prosecutor he was on his cell phone at the time. When the little girl was struck he knew he had alcohol in his car and attempted to get rid of it right in front of bystanders and family. After getting rid of the alcohol he then proceeded to check on the little girl. Tests did show he was not drunk, but nowhere does it say he DID NOT have alcohol in his system, but he was on duty which it is illegal to have it in his police car. He is now asking the for the case to be dismissed by pulling the race card saying he was the only one prosecuted for such a crime in TN because he is black. The big slap in the face to the family is the jury isn't allowed to hear the full story, the alcohol will be excluded and considered irrelevant . COMPLETELY Ridiculous! Now you know the full story, doesn't sound accidental now does it....

PJ   February 9th, 2010 2:35 pm ET

Something the DA may not know is; Officer Spence, was fired from the Murfreesboro PD a few years ago. The Defense Attorney, Terry Fann represented Officer Spence in a lawsuit against the MPD to get his job back. I think that Spence did his best to help his own Attorney as well as Mr. Killings

Dmore   February 9th, 2010 2:40 pm ET

Driving reckless 30m over the limit,alcohol,then the ultimate waited to call it in.He's going to jail!Quick fast and a hurry.Unless they try to blame the parents, what she doing out there ?

Lorie Stransky   February 9th, 2010 3:03 pm ET

WRONG WRONG WRONG!! I do not understand how the judge could have not allowed the evidence of him throwing LIQUOR bottles from his police cruiser!! I don't care how long you have been a police officer he is was trying to cover his tracks and HIDE the fact he had liquor in his POLICE car. If a any ciizen was seen doing the very same thing I highly doubt this would have been excluded from the jury!!

shelley wills   February 9th, 2010 3:09 pm ET

It looks as though he has no remorse for the child that got killed and the family! this case smells shady to me and if it doesn't look right usually means that they are hiding something from the public!

Jamie   February 9th, 2010 3:11 pm ET

Is it true that they waited 2.5 hours later to give him a breathalizer, even though witnesses said he was seen trying to hide the large amount of alcohol he had in his vehicle?

peter   February 9th, 2010 3:17 pm ET

How many people(especially children), have been killed by speeding LEOs; before ,as a society , we say enough! Criminal charges MUST be the consequences of taking a life. "To Serve &Protect" applies to all.

Steve   February 9th, 2010 3:17 pm ET

Plain and simple the little girl should not have darted infront of the car. How fast he was going is not the case. The law allows him to respond w/o lights or siren on. He did not break the law! While the case is tragic, maybe with a little better parenting and better judgment on the officers part this whole thing could have been avoided.

Colleen   February 9th, 2010 3:20 pm ET

How does Ron Killings get off with only reckless driving in comparrison to manslaughter charge. he is a man of the law and obviously did not have is mind on what he was doing,, whether he was on doing or not. He was in an unmarked car. He was driving a government vehicle,
He is was aware of what he was doing, he would never have hit this 11 yr. old girld and she would probable be alive today.
He may have made a one time mistake so to speak but he should not get off on just merely reckless driving. he was also in excess of more than the double the amount of the speed limit.

Is this another situation where law enforcement is beyond the law compared to the adverage citizen? Come on now. Lets get real.

Jerry Carney   February 9th, 2010 3:22 pm ET

This is most definitely a crime. First FTER STRIKING THE CHILD DID HE STOP AND AT THAT POINT STAY WITH HER UNTIL EMERGENCY SERVICES ARRIVED. I do not expect 11 year old children to act completely responsible, it is the adults responsibility to make sure safety abides. This little girl was wrongfully killed. No crime in this country is so worthy of persuit that a child's life was worth this persuit.
Was he actually going to an event requiring his presence. Was there a crime in progress that he was responding to? His speed in this case makes everything that happened become criminal! He should not be allowed to hide behind a badge to get off free. We expect our badge holders to uphold the law the best, they should be our example not our exception to the rules and laws of our community!
Sergeant if you do not wish to go to jail, I understand, then do the right thing and clear up all your loose ends and then sit in you office and use your weapon properly and pay for your crime that way!

Marcia Bell   February 9th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

Where was this girls parents? Sure he was speeding, and he should be treated with the same as anyone else speeding, but who tells or allows their children to play in the street? She could have been hit by a drunk, though the drunk's fault, she would still be dead even after he spends his time in jail. What about the little old lady driving 20 mph and still does not see her in the street. You would still be dead or injured regardless of who hit you and/or how. The street is not a safe place to play kids, and parents should be teaching their kids that if they care anything about them. As for the Sergeant, he should be treated as anyone else who breaks traffic laws.

Nancy   February 9th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

If the defendent and his mason brothers are wearing a pin to show it, could this make a difference if there is a mason on the jury? Don't they stick together?

diane spero   February 9th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

people in law enforcement should be held to a higher standard.
if a citizen had liquior bottles in their car it would be in the court case.

it is time that those in law enforcement are made accountable.
the fact that he falsifed evidence shows he was mostly likely
did it in cases he handled.

John Johnson   February 9th, 2010 3:45 pm ET

Fellow cohorts,

I believe that not being caught at a crime does not make you crimeless. It is apparent he did not follow the rules of the department at the time of the incident. What other actions have gone with out notice. How about the parent allowing a child to cross that street at that time. Is the traffic controlled with safe crossing street lights available? Vinnie, would you allow your child to cross that street.


Royce   February 9th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

As from what I have seen on this story, Killings, so they say was on call, he was also talking on his cell phone, he was also doing 65 mph in a 30 mph zone without his siren or lights on. They are also saying the young girl "ran" out in front of his car causing him to strike her having her thrown upon the hood and smashing his windshield. I'm still waiting to see what his dash cam shows!

Frannie   February 9th, 2010 3:57 pm ET

I can tell you that this community was outraged when the fellow police officers were on the scene and Killings disposed of the liquor bottles. Witnesses saw this, but no policeman did??? Then one of his fellow officers drove him to a store where he purchased several liquid items to consume. The blood alcohol test came much later. This jury has got to know that there are things they are not gonna hear. They have got to know that this community knows too much otherwise, the jury would have been picked from here.

THP found that he filed a false police report, tampered with evidence and investigated his fellow officers on the scene. They are the only reason this man is on trial. I can tell ya that his buddies on the force would have never brought charges.

With all the cover up on this case, it makes you wonder if his unblemished record is due to this kind of behavior in the past.

PJ   February 9th, 2010 3:57 pm ET

Another point I'd like to make. Sgt. Murphy was disciplined for trying to hide evidence.

Lora   February 9th, 2010 4:01 pm ET

I see animals dead in the road constantly, and that tells me that the street is unsafe. I've have hit animals before, and sometimes, it cannot be avoided. I was not speeding or drunk. It is unfortunate this little girl did not know better. This is a very unfortunate thing for her and her family, but I do not believe he intentionally hit the girl. However, as an officer, he should have known better, and he should be charged with wreckless driving but not murder. If she was jaywalking or did not look both ways, she could have been hit by anyone. This is a very bad event that cannot be changed, but he just happened to be breaking the law when it happened.

CLauDia   February 9th, 2010 4:14 pm ET

TO JAMIE Yes, 2.5 hours before an alcohol blood test and he was recorded 30 mins after the incident chugging gateraide at a gas station....

elvis lee   February 9th, 2010 4:28 pm ET

i think he should be charged as anyone else would.but sadly he will get off because he was a cop.he was driving way to fast so yes it is his fault.if we drive like that and killed someone we would without a doubt be in prison 10 years.

tim   February 9th, 2010 4:55 pm ET

we all know that this a cover up. this police was off duty in now they want to said he was on the clock that so bull . we all no that police take care of each of them on . when this truck drive hit this police on i 40 it do not take him twoand a half hours 4 a breathalizer test let get real .the law is on his side and we all no it so go to jail n tell the white mother u sorry and the one that trying to cover 4 to 2

Janis Eliason   February 9th, 2010 4:56 pm ET

How is he any different than anyone else? Lock him up & trrow away the key. It's absolutely disgusting and no excuse for this to happen in the first place. He should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Justice for Children

maria   February 9th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

tuesday morning when this was viewing on the tv. He was sitting there while the court was going on and he was laughting smiling, he gave me the impression ha ha Im a cop and i aint going to pay.. And he probley wont pay cuz he is a cop. But what he did is 20 times more then what Omar Long did.

James   February 9th, 2010 5:48 pm ET

Looks like he was speeding, but speeding way too fast to just be headed for doughnuts. it may have been a call he was really on.

I see no crosswalk, have to wait for the dash cam

duane sparks   February 9th, 2010 5:50 pm ET

If the police car was within 1/4 of a mile, so that he had to have his lights and sirens off to "sneak up" on the scene, then that is a poor excuse. At 60 mph, it takes 15 seconds to go 1/4 mile. At 30 mph, it takes 30 seconds. Is that 15 seconds saved worth a life?

PJ   February 9th, 2010 6:18 pm ET

It seems so unfair. They bring in an out of town DA to prosecute this case. They bring in an out of town Jury from Chattanooga.

This Judge in this case is the brother of the Mayor of Murfreesboro. The Mayor oversees the Police Department. In all fairness the Judge sould have been brought in from another location.

Several Officers were demoted and sanctioned because of the cover-up regarding the Alcohol bottles. And, for taking Killings to the C-store to consume an enormous amount of Gatorade prior to a BAC test some 2.5 hours later.

Justice in this case is not just!

Max   February 9th, 2010 7:14 pm ET

It does not matter where one lives. There are corrupt cops everywhere from Tenn. to Texas. You name it, you'll always find corruption in the ranks. thanks for letting me vent. Bless that little girl.

Royce   February 9th, 2010 8:06 pm ET

To Marcia Bell and any others wanting to say the girl was at fault please see Claudia's comment. I give Claudia 2 thumbs up because apparently she, as I and some of the others, watched In Session earlier today! It was a residential street, I guess we are not allowed to cross the streets anymore and be safe. The government wants to pass laws about cell phones and texting, but how many officers do you see talking on theirs or messing with their computers while driving? I know here in Florida we have had 2 incidents in the past 2 months where a preteen girl and an adult female were both run down, both incidents involving police driving their squad cars and not paying attention to the road and OBEYING the rules of the road. I'm sure we will soon see those on CNN or Tru TV soon as well.

Nicole   February 9th, 2010 8:12 pm ET

I don't think it's fair that police officers can do whatever they want just because they have a badge. Officers think they can speed, but they really can't. I have even seen some without using the turning signals and more illegal things that we can't do. I think the officer need to go to jail I don't care if he has a badge. One question though? What was an 11 year old girl doing outside by herself at night?

Bob Brown   February 9th, 2010 8:30 pm ET

Hiding the bottles has probative value about priorities when responding with aid at the scene of an accident.

Jim Benson   February 10th, 2010 12:34 am ET

Does this Cop have a child of his own? take the kid and give the child to the family that lost theirs... Then set the Cop on fire...

Instructor   February 10th, 2010 10:54 am ET

I'm a Emergency Vehicle Driving Instructor in the state of Tn. There is laws in Tn. that govern emergency vehicle driving. This is called the Vanessa K. Free Act that was put into place on May, 2005. This was the result of a Chattanooga,Tn. police officer that struck and killed Vanessa K. Free. Mr. Killings has violated the laws that he was trained in every year since 2005. This is just one of the requirements of the VKF Act. No one including police officers are allowed to exceed the posted speed limits without use of lights and sirens. Further more all emergency vehicle drivers must drive with due regard for the safety of the public.This is law and should be followed at all times.

dano   February 10th, 2010 12:09 pm ET

I have not really heard yet if he was responding to a call? Maybe I just missed it. If he was, red lights and siren definitely should have been on especially when he was driving 60 plus in a 30 just to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening. If he was just trying to get from A to B faster by speeding I think he should go to jail. The throwing away of the liquor bottles really doesn't bother me one way or another, except that would be some sort of cover up I think. I believe his BAC was zero.
Police talk all the time on there radios, cell phones etc. Most cop cars are even equipped with computers and I'm sure that they use those while driving. I don't see any problem with him talking on his cell phone. I think his biggest hurdle is why not the lights and siren weren't on.

Tayana   February 10th, 2010 12:34 pm ET

If a crime was happening in my home or to me I would hope the a police officer would not be driving the speed limit to respond. Speeding is a norm when police officers are responding to calls. accidents happen. I can understand that sometimes the family of the victim need someone to place the blame on but this was an accident. The witness is lying on the stand....she said it wasn't dark so why would he need headlights....The family is trying to get money from the lost of this child not justice.

Dee   February 10th, 2010 12:45 pm ET

I LOVE ya'lls show and happen to currently live in Murfreesboro....(Native TX) I am just shocked you would come here for this trial...Will be down on "The Square" tomorrow, hope to met Beth, I love her, have watched her since Scott Petersen's trial.. BTW, Murfreesboro is full of crooks in the courthouse, judges, lawyers, poice officers wouldnt believe the things they are involved in! From drugs deals, and on and on..Just a crooked little town, with one hand always feeding the other, very sad situation.... Hope I get to met you in person..

Jim McNamee   February 10th, 2010 12:59 pm ET

Just tuned in abit ago. I see the Crash occurred at ABOUT 843pm CM T. Checking with National Weather Service. Sunset on 07/17/2008 was at 801pm CMT (Actual) with Civil Twilight at 830pm CMT.
I wish I was able to watch the entire trial from the begining.
It appears as if Det Sgt Killings did all he could once the accident happened. Is the witness, stretching the truth? I belive so.

Bob S. Carolina   February 10th, 2010 1:03 pm ET

I suspect that this is going to be considered a terrible accident. There was no pedestrian crosswalk at this location – there was no cross road with a traffic light at this location. Ron Killings was enroute to assist another officer who had called for backup and "may" have been talking to the other officer on the phone.

What was this child and her 3 friends doing outdoors at 15 min before 9:00pm running across a road without adult supervision?

Dee   February 10th, 2010 1:04 pm ET

It is not uncommon for unmarked police officers in Murfreesboro to go to a crime with the lights off... There are a lot of drug, etc in the area where he was traveling...not saying it is right but I'm sure he feels much remorse from this sad loss (I know ppl that know him) also not to detract from the situation but the girl should not have been out crossing streets alone, especially not that street rather it was night or day! I would never allow a child in my care to do so.. maybe the adults in her care should take some responsibility..

Dee   February 10th, 2010 1:24 pm ET

Regardless of this case & everything that pertains to it, this town is just that way.. The entire legal system is full of crooks and anyone that lives here knows that... Judges, lawyers, po buy drugs, do drugs at clubs in town, could go on and on. The jail is crooked, probation system is crooked..Not saying all the police etc are as I know some that truly do their job and care but probably 80% of anyone in this town that is involved in the legal system are either doing drugs, putting money in someone else's hand for something, etc.. it is truly a joke and sad.

angie   February 10th, 2010 1:53 pm ET

shame, shame, shame, figures he cared more about his alcohol bottles than the little girl he just hit. sometimes the courts make the wrong decisions when it comes to submissions. the judge made the wrong one there. Its because he is a cop plain and simple. this just proves they do cover up things and they are above the law. he wont spend anytime losing his freedom over this aweful thing that he is responsible for. shame, shame, shame on the justice system and there fake show of prosecuting police officers.

Frannie   February 10th, 2010 1:58 pm ET

To Jim Mc...Killings did do all he could once the accident happened to cover up, along wih the help of fellow police officers. He ditched the alcohol in the car, had an officer take him from the scene to a store to drink liquids for several hours before he had to take the blood alcohol test. Several office were reprimanded for their part in this debacle. Killing also filed a false police report and was found to be tampering with evidence.

And for those who think it was dark outside, it was not.

I live here, beliveve it when I say, this whole this is a mess on the part of the officer and the department.

Karen   February 10th, 2010 2:18 pm ET

Can police cover things up?? What would be the answer to that? The problem here is the truth. Was he answering an urgent call, didn't see the child, and had a legitimate reason to be on the phone? Would it seem unreasonable, under the circumstances, for a person to ditch liquor bottles that may have been in the car from another occasion? We need the facts, if we can get them. If there was a cover up, it needs to be proven. I wouldn't want an officer to be killed or seriously wounded because another officer was too afraid to go over a speed limit. If I were in serious danger or a family member, I'd want them to get there asap. Another thing, why is an 11 year old child out at 8:45 PM at night trying to cross a well known busy road? Who was suppose to be watching her? My 11 year old girls were in bed and asleep by this time of night. We may never know the real truth here, but it is a horrible thing for the child to have lost her life so young, and for the family that morns her. Another case of "Take care of your kids!" And, if this is a cover up, I pray God reveals the truth in this case.

angie   February 10th, 2010 2:29 pm ET

sounds like the people from this town making comments arent surprised at all about the cover up. nonetheless either are most people in the cities across the u.s. the above the law mentality of police officers and there abilities to control and supress cover ups in our states justice system is just sickening. this tennessee court is nothing but a joke and telling us all that there cops will do whatever they want whenever they want and get away with it. thats my prediction.

Dee   February 10th, 2010 2:35 pm ET

PJ, I'm sure the DA knows Ofc Spence was fired previously... They are probably all good ole buddies when their not in the courtroom..Everybody knows everything about everything in this town

chris   February 10th, 2010 2:43 pm ET

This case needs to be a civil case. How was Mr. Killings spouse to know that a 11 year old girl was going to run out in front of his car the night of the accident? HE DIDNT!!! it was a accident and he should not be charged criminally. If he was charged with anything it needs to be reckless driving not reckless homicide. I mean if people get charged for this and it was a accident then i am scared to get in my car and drive right now. This is a civil suit and the charged need to be dropped and taken to civil court.

Ryan   February 10th, 2010 2:53 pm ET

This is a sad thing but if he was on his way to a call 60mph is not that fast on a main road. All thease people that are so mad cause he was Driving too fast would be much more upset if they were the ones in trouble and the ones waiting on the police! They say well the kids were good good at crossin the street, but there kids! If that little girl would have been paying attention than she wouldn't run out in frount of a car I the car was going 30 or 60, it is a horrable accedent an for them to say he was drinking is a crock he took a blood test and tested 0 you can not fake that.

kristopher   February 10th, 2010 2:53 pm ET

Mr Killings is my friend. Dont judge if you dont know all the facts

Instructor   February 10th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

I understand that police officers need to respond quickly to the scene. They can do this with light and sirens on then turn them off and slow down before getting close to the scene. This is using due regard for the safety of the public. Running 62.8 mph in a 30 mph zone with no lights or siren is a reckless disregard for the public's safety. Mr. Killing has broken the law governing emergency vehicle operations. This is plain and simple and can't be covered up. He was trained in the law per the testimony and failed to follow it. The jury should see this.

Mike Burman   February 10th, 2010 3:38 pm ET

its the parents who needs to be aware of their childrens in present

D. Daniels   February 10th, 2010 3:39 pm ET

I think that it is a shame that so many people have passed judgment on why these children were out at dusk during the summer crossing a street while their aunt watched. Let this have been your child and an unmarked police car w/o sirens speeding down a residential area and you bet there would be not stop coverage! Yes, most people would agree that we want the police to respond to crime, but not w/o lights and sirens! Don't blame the Victim! Take responsibility! There is a higher court that this officer will be judged!

Tywan   February 10th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

Could sombody please tell me why the judge didn't allow the evidence about the liquor bottles. I missed that part.

Melinda   February 10th, 2010 3:56 pm ET

This is a bad deal , sorry 2 the family and GOd Bless , it is a lot that goes on that is wrong but in the end GOD will be the JUDGE of All and the ones that up hold the LAW will pay dearly that do WRONG....

Johnny   February 10th, 2010 4:00 pm ET

Having been a emergency responder for the past 28 years,it is our responsibility to respond with due regard regardless to the fact we're responding to an emergency.if i run a red light and kill some one i,m at fault even though i was running lights and siren. It,s the Law.

R.C.   February 10th, 2010 4:07 pm ET

Well Chris better not be driving cause it is criminal look it up

Frannie   February 10th, 2010 4:10 pm ET

kristopher, well he should be safe from conviction cause they are gonna make sure that the jury never hears everything that went on. I have a feeling when this is all over and they find out everything the community knows, they are gonna be 12 angry men & women.
If he is truly your friend, then you know.

Gale   February 10th, 2010 4:12 pm ET

The defense attorney is trying to make a point that at the time of the accident children are not outside playing or crossing the road. If I heard correctly it was summer time. What kid won't play outside just after dark in the summer? I certainly remember catching fireflies after dark and playing hide and seek after dark in the summertime. And I also can recall a time or two that we went across the street to borrow a cup of sugar to make a pitcher of kool aide for all the neighborhood kids.

As a police officer he was aware that this area was know for a very high rate of accidents, some fatal. He also should have noted the speed limit. He could have at least had his lights flashing. And he certainly should not have had alcoholic beverage bottles in a patrol car at any time. He should not have been on a cell phone. He should not have tried to cover up the existance of the alcohol bottles. He should have been given a alcohol test immediately, not over 2 1/2 hours later. Other officers should not have taken him to a store to buy gatorade for him to drink before his blood alcohol level was tested. Sorry, but these officers and their actions fail the "smell test". His actions cost a little girl her life. There are no excuses for this. They can say he was responding to another officer calling for assistance all they want. This officer is guilty of killing someone because he was reckless.

justwondering   February 10th, 2010 4:22 pm ET

If you just look at the facts, he was speeding, he threw liquor bottles out of th car, he was on the cell phone and the list goes on and on. Even if these children were crossing the street at 12 midnight, those facts are not going to change. It doesn't matter where her parents are, they could have been right beside her and all those facts would still be the same. It is shameful the way people only have compassion and common sense towards their own but when it happens to them, they will want to scream bloody murder.

tim   February 10th, 2010 4:42 pm ET

What nobody has asked yet was where the parents or adults at when the children were crossing the street and why they lying about it being it being daytime at 843 come on now even daylight savings it dnt take that long to get dark and why chick can't remember when she gave her reports and why did she give two different ones why they didn't match they were only a week apart but I'm sorry about the lose but accedents happen

Ryan Williams   February 10th, 2010 4:55 pm ET

I just wanted to address the 2.5 hours after the accident that it took for him to take an alcohol test. The law states that you have to be tested within 3 hours after operating a motor vehicle. And as I understand it, he was given a blood test for alcohol and drugs and the results were negative for either. Blood tests are more accurate as a general rule than breath tests. Also the average human being processes alcohol at a rate of 0.015 g/ltr per hour. This means that he could have had a BAC of .045 and it would be gone in three hours. The legal limit for a DUI is .08 grams/litre.

With this being said, I think we are judgeing this officer to harshly because he is an officer. Yes he was speeding but, as I understand it, the little girl ran out in front of him.

RichardCranium   February 10th, 2010 5:28 pm ET

Gale, thank you very much, I was going to say the same in my last post. "Hide and go seek and lightning bugs". Where I came from, it was common practice for the whole neighborhood to be out until at least 10:00 pm. Was common practice for police officers "to serve and PROTECT" too...

Still waiting for 'kristpoher' to give us the facts that would change everyones outlook on this case. kristopher?/

Yeah, I didn't think so. Bird's of a feather, flock together...

"Killings" is certainly living up to his name. Someone needs to learn the difference between right and wrong and drink a bullet when they figure it out. Whatever happened to the good ole days when people took responsibility for their actions, albeit positive or negative.

Karen   February 10th, 2010 6:17 pm ET

Summer, does not excuse the lack of supervision by adults for children. As I understand it, one of these children was 6 years old at the time. I believe that Ray Ray stated his Aunt was supervising from the window (geee, that's great)! This is not blaming the victim (the child) although I believe she made a bad decision (as children often can) about when to cross this road (busy, at night, not wearing her glasses). The idea of adult supervision is to realize this. I caught fire flies in my yard as a child, not by myself at night (almost 9 PM) by a busy road. Sure, perhaps a parent could have been killed, also, but if it were my child, I'd take my chances if my child and I had to cross a road, together. And, sugar for Kool Aide, at almost 9PM. Hmmmmm, I wonder what these poor children's habits were. Like too many, they are on their own to manage.

Donna Parker   February 10th, 2010 8:05 pm ET

I don't know about others but almost every driver I have spoken to on the issue (driving 40+yrs. no violations) is that driving at dusk or early dawn is even more difficult as it's harder to see because shadows are 90 degrees to the ground and the view becomes less deliniated from other objects in the scene. I know I always take extra precautions at those times. Perhaps south of the border it's different.....Ontario Canada.

Joyce   February 10th, 2010 11:16 pm ET

This is really sad police office known better to drive speed like he did
not obey the law didn't follow the limit, now he killed that girl he
should be shame for what he did he will get some time in jail, I was
shock that he didn't even go to house and apologize to her family
to say how very sorry he was, this was a accident that I hit her
someone should help those children to cross the street for their
safety, maybe Lakeisha might not have take her time to look both
ways for the traffic on the street to cross and did not see that car
coming, toward her even she did have her glasses on or not and
wasn't paying attention I will blame her parents for that, letting her
be out late that night at 8:45 p.m. she was just a child.

larry   February 11th, 2010 10:49 am ET

I reside in rutherford county and i truly believe there is more to this than we the public are being told. our sheriff truman jones has a strong hold on this county.we have the good ole boy lifestyle here if you know the right person or persons you can get away with anything.if you don't you will be going to jail

carol m   February 11th, 2010 11:43 am ET

Mr killings is guilty in my book. The fact that he was on the phone on an unrelated call tells me he was not on an emergancy call. Yes he is suppose to be held to a higher standard. Where is the evidence that he was even on a call, and if so the first thing he should have done as a responsible officer was to put on his siren. Looking at him in court, he shows no remorse at all. Infact he seems as though he has already won the case.

doreen   February 11th, 2010 11:49 am ET

his demeanor in court is well, too comfortable. he is smiling and his body language tells me he knows he will be exhonorated.
some police are "above the law". was there any proof that he was going to an "assistance" call?
in any event, a young girl is dead and it is because of him.

Tana   February 11th, 2010 11:50 am ET

In the city I live in (about 500,000) it is not uncommon for cops to run without lights and sirens, the only warning being the sound of lots of horsepower under the hood. Also a call of officer assistance needed has a powerful effect on any officer, so I don't really fault Killings on his response. Further, country roads are notorious for speeding drivers. An adult should have walked the child across the road, especially since young children do not have the capacity to maturely judge danger. However, that is not the only issue in this tragedy.
People driving at normal speeds have had accidents while on cell phones and here in NY in is illegal to drive and talk unless you have hands-free devices and NY is discussing banning all cell phone talk while driving. The other problem is the alcohol and the coverup that insued. I'd like to know if the seals were broken. As to the BAC, blood tests were invented because you can drink tons of water or other liquids to effect a urine sample but it doesn't work on a BAC

Mary   February 11th, 2010 12:03 pm ET

If Killings was answering an official call, why wasn't it with sirens and flashing lights to warn people he was exceeding the speed limit? It's my understanding that police officials are not permitted to exceed the speed limit unless they are using sirens and flashing lights. Any one driving over the speed limit should be held responsible for anyone they injure or kill.

Margaret   February 11th, 2010 12:05 pm ET

I would like to know why Mr Killing keep lavghing. Why is it that he hasnt been made to apologize to the family?

Teresa Lyman   February 11th, 2010 12:19 pm ET

What happened to the police departments motto, "To Protect and Serve" ? Who was protecting that young girl? Officer Killings failed to do his job properly and that young girl paid the price for it.. It's shameful and he should be punished to the full extent of the law!!

Patrick   February 11th, 2010 12:28 pm ET

Absolutley disgusting to see the blue wall in action. Other officer should be charged also since he decides to lie for defendant.

Leslie   February 11th, 2010 12:30 pm ET

I never seem to wrestle with 'guilty' vs. 'not-guilty' when watching a case on court tv. I typically know the law and know whether the person is guilty or not. Of course that doesn't mean the jury agrees with me. But I'm majorly conflicted on a decision of guilt in this case. Was the Detective speeding? Yes. Was the Detective on his cell phone? Yes. Could both of these factors have contributed to his inability to avoid hitting this precious child? Yes. Did he intentionally hit this child or go out of his way to his her which resulted in the death of this child? No...he did not. The parent of the unattended child is at fault. And I know we never want to place blame on children, but children need to be taught how to make life and death choices at an early age ESPECIALLY if the parents leave them unsupervised. This is the ONLY way we can give a child a fighting chance in this world. We have to teach our children that accidents happen. We have to teach our children to be proactive and not rely on others when it comes to their safety if they are alone. We have to teach our children NOT to play in or around the streets where giant moving machines can mow them down. Now this may sound insensitive to some and some will get defensive and refuse to go there but it's the truth and both the officer and the little girl are to blame. Sad but true. Now what should the punishment be? Should this officer be judged as a gang member serial robber or murderer would? I don't think so. If being on the side of law doesn't count for anything at all in the end then what in the world does?

Michael J. Linkletter   February 11th, 2010 12:49 pm ET

A Police Officer is given numerous powers that citizens do not have. They must use these powers responsibly. Do you really want a Police Officer or any other first responder following all traffic laws when responding to an emergency? I don't know the facts of this case so I have no idea why he was speeding. The jury will have to decide if he was acting responsibly.

Sandy G. Johnson   February 11th, 2010 12:53 pm ET

What a tragedy!! It is even more disturbing that Killings got rid of the alcohol bottles in his car...whether they were a factor or not ...if that had been an everyday citizen you can bet it ALL would have come out ...and the jury would have heard it.

The fact that neither Killings (Or the other law enforcement officers) never even apologized for what happened is appalling. To me THAT is CRIMINAL ...even if it is NOT AGAINST THE LAW!!!!!

Sandy Johnson SLC, UT

JoJo Li   February 11th, 2010 1:02 pm ET

This is not an uncommon occurence. Police officiers today have no respect for the citizens they are suppose to protect. They speed through our neighborhoods, fly through lights, speed down one way streets even when they are not going to an incident. Police need to be held accountable for their actions. More investigations need to be down, or devices need to read when cops are speeding without have a call to go to.
Sorry for her families loss.

Michael J. Linkletter   February 11th, 2010 1:03 pm ET

I was watching the trial and TV and there was testimony that he was responding to an emergency. An officer was on the scene of a home invasion and requested assistance. He asked them to step up the assisatnce becasue they were leaving the house.

captiangary   February 11th, 2010 1:13 pm ET

lets make an example of this guy,this hapens far to often,but we ralery hear about,police cover ups are a well known policy for the boys in blue.
this little girl died to do what,recover a stolen tv.lets take the ligts and sirens off all the police cars.if there not going to use them,why do we need to go to all that expence?

spredbury   February 11th, 2010 1:24 pm ET

First of all my deepest sympathies to the family of this little girl. But that said, I hope Killings is found guilty, is sued along with the police department and the rest of his life is totally destroyed. I'm sure all of Killings' brothers in blue did and will continur to do anything and everything possible to protect him. Cops always think they are better than the rest of us. They will lie, cheat and steal to further their cause which in no way includes "protect and serve". I wouldn't trust a cop as far as I could throw one of them. Hopefully justice will be served but anytime a cop is involved, I hope for the best and expect the worst when it comes to justice. I also find it beyond the pale that Killings hasn't even had the guts to offer an apology for the death of this little girl. I'm sure his only concern is getting his back side off with a non guilty verdict. So disgusting but so predictable for a cop. What more can I say?

Tracy Clementz   February 11th, 2010 1:27 pm ET

I live in Murfreesboro, how tragic for all concerned. Lights and sirens would of made all the difference. I have to believe Sgt. Killings is familiar with this area. People walk down this street all the time. There are stores and laundry mats and various bussiness in this area that also happens to be redidential. People walk to places wether it be a child or an adult. Just like that witness that was returning from the store with her child. It just happen to be a child that would not have tried to cross that road had she heard a siren or seen lights.

D. Smith   February 11th, 2010 1:29 pm ET

Clearly, this officer was in the right. She was not crossing through a cross walk and she ran in front of a car. I see too many people try to sue over frileous things. My son was hit by a car and I never sued anyone, because my attorney said, "No." I believe now I should have asked a different attorney.

Tracy Clementz   February 11th, 2010 1:36 pm ET

I have tears just listening to sgt. killings testifing.

captiangary   February 11th, 2010 1:39 pm ET

guilty as charged

Walter Glover   February 11th, 2010 1:49 pm ET

I have known Ron Killings and his wife for over 30 years. This is truly a very sad story. I have 2 children of my own so I feel the the White family. But I feel this was a true accident. I know Ron did not mean to hurt that child. He has children of his own. He understand what it means to protect your family. I am saying a prayer for all the families involved.

mozella mcgorty   February 11th, 2010 2:10 pm ET

I know sometime police doesn't used there lights when they are trying to catch someone in the act of commiting a crime. There is know street lights for the people to cross the street there so him being a officer should have been aware that the people in the apartments would cross where they can.Why was there alcohol bottles in the police car? to me it means he had been drinking in that car before also he should have have been paying attention to the road instead of on the radio and cell phone he was doing to many things at once and a child lost her life it was negligence on the officer part. I know some of the defense lawyers that have commented on the show said that if he goes to jail that this would cause officers to respone slower because they would be scared of prosecution but they must be careful. This really is a case of criminal negligence manslaughter his conduct was reckless. He could also have used his lights without the siren. That 911 call that he placed was not audiable all you could here was I need a ambulance and his location make me wonder if it hasn't been tampered with.

R.C.   February 11th, 2010 2:19 pm ET

This Kilings person does not have any remorse for what he did he knows he is going to get off (bluewall in effect)hes laughing, joking around all in all does not care. The federal government should go into this county charge the whole lot of everyone involved and send them all into the federal system in a major city then we will see some justice
local boys cant protectect local boys in the big city.

mozella mcgorty   February 11th, 2010 2:43 pm ET

Police get away with so much just because they are police. What about the old lady about 60yrs old who the police shot 39 time as part of a drug bust that she had nothing to do with and got away with it. If we as citizens did any of these actions we would be in jail. It is just sad that we have to keep losing innocent citizens due to reckless police officers who are above the law that they claime to up hold.

captiangary   February 11th, 2010 2:43 pm ET

he knows hell get off;;blue law rember.he will just move to another county and be right back in uniform.we need a national data base to pevent this.also a database on the stastics of how often on death by cop actually happens all across this country.Iam sure we will all be amazed at how often this happens.

Barbara   February 11th, 2010 2:50 pm ET

OK!!! Somebody bring out the ACADEMY Award!! Clearly Acting, Lets see what the Prosecutor is going to bring out. The Scene that he was going to was not a Life or Death Situation. He should have proceeded slower or put on Lights Only. OH! I'm sure he probably remembers the phone conversation with The Lady , he met at mapco. I bet it wasn't the first or last time he has met with Her. If I heard correclty this was a Dead end Street. How far can a couple of thieves run with TVs or whatever they are stealing. If he was moving at 60 or 65 miles per hour My Grandmother or My Dog may not have known he was coming..Think about it!!

toni   February 11th, 2010 3:03 pm ET

why was the family not brought up on neglect charges? What were those children doing out on the road at that time of the night?? I personally drive down Bradyville Pike daily and I can't count the times that I have ALMOST ran someone over at dusk and/or dark. This is a dark street and there needs to be light poles put up in this area. Had the city done their job to update these neighborhoods this could have possibly been avoided. Had the parents or gaurdains just gotten the sugar them selves rather then sending a group of children out, at 9:00pm this may have not happened. In stead of the family suing the city they should work with the city to have new light poles put up in this area and maybe save a life in the future.

Barbara   February 11th, 2010 3:15 pm ET

He only cries when he thinks about going to jail!. I would not want to be a Cop in Jail! I believe he had been drinking. I think this was a major coverup. I Believe what the Grandmother is saying to In Session. She found the Liquor bottles. why can't the Jury hear this Information??

Donna   February 11th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Tears when defense lawyer questioned him,None with DA
The Killings Family are so insensitive they laughed and talked all during trial

MARK B / TENNESSEE   February 11th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

The officer lied about the cell phone call to cover up an affair, hid evidence (Liquor Bottles) before he even approached the little girl.
It is tragedy at its best. There should be laws and standards for all
public safety officers to follow. high speed chases, assist calls,
what ever 62 in a 35 was excessive in this area and it was well known to Killings......GUILTY

Ron   February 11th, 2010 3:51 pm ET

I understand some of these comments posted...But I have yet to see a law enforcement officer tell you guys that...when another officer calls for assistance, It is considered an emergency!!!! Especially when you are the supervisor and your officer calls you...Its dreadful that this child was killed!!!!! It would have been equally dreadful if that other officer had been killed!!!! Theres no Blue wall in effect....I am a retired Sheriffs Deputy and a current community advocate...

Jim   February 11th, 2010 3:54 pm ET

I will never have any faith and trust of police departments or judges again the rest of my days. The fact that the alcohol was not allowed to be brought in as evidence has me livid. This is corruption at its highest. Please, someone explain to me why and how this was thrown out as evidence. If this was the average Joe citizen,the alcohol would have been the whole focal point of this trial. Our system is broken. Corruption,corruption,corruption.

Carol   February 11th, 2010 3:55 pm ET

Let me tell you something be the child black, white or green they love to dare to do things they aren't supposed to. She saw the lights but assumed she could get across the street before the car got to close.

If you see the lights like anyone else the person should stop before even attempting to cross the road then and only then cross the road but she thought it would be fun to out run the car.

To me it was horrible accident and that is it but of course the family is going to back the child but the child was wrong and she paid a big price.

Dwight   February 11th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

Doesn't anyone care that the jury is being tricked by not being allowed to hear that the officer removed alcohol bottles from the car that was bought earlier in the day. The more I watch insession the more I understand that justice is all about deceiving the jury. It seems in every case there is pertinent issues that the jury is not allowed to hear.

Robert   February 11th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

As a 10yr former Pa State Trooper going to a scene to back up an officer is a priority for any police officer. Not using lights and siren is appropriate for you don't know if the suspects were armed or not. A officer doesn't make that assumtion. when ever you do you put your life on the line. Getting your back up there before you confront more than one criminal is pivital. The child took a chance and lost. Why were they out there when its getting dark without parental guidance. I do beleive the child was going to play chicken with the car. Now I would say she wouldn't have if she knew it was a police car coming. But no situation is perfect. Everyone is different and its nothing you can practice for.

Sandy G. Johnson   February 11th, 2010 3:59 pm ET

So Ron Killings and everyone else is advised not to say ANYTHING to the victims...not to apologize due to the possibilities of their apologies being used as admitting guilt. I still think this is behavior is CRIMINAL. The decency to express sorrow that the incident happened ...regardless of the fault of anyone involved and the acknowledgement and respect to the family and the little girl should occur above and beyond the aspect of the LAW.

Even though Mr. Killings may show emotion on th stand....he still does not seem to accept ANY of the responsibility on the LOSS OF A CHILD'S LIFE. He maintained control in his lane....he kept saying...never mind the bottles he hid, and all his other distractions. Never mind what was ignored and covered up. If it was any of I said...the jury would hear it.

And I do NOT have to be convinced how important it is for cops to get to another call...I KNOW. that . ..but I will NEVER be convinced that it is ok to put OTHER people's lives in danger ... to run them down...on the way. .But the behavior and lies after the fact are the reflection of the truth.

evan   February 11th, 2010 4:00 pm ET

I understand not having his siren or lights on. people who might have seen his lights on could have called those individuals suspected of the home invasion and gave them a "heads up" that police are headed their way.... However, i do want to know where the parents or grandmother was when this child was playing in the street. May she Rest In Peace, but darting out in the road trying to beat a car is not appropriate behavior. if this child did not have the capacity to know better, then she should have been supervised more closely.

Robert   February 11th, 2010 4:45 pm ET

I gave enough DUI test in my time as an officer. I don't care how much you drink coffee,gatoraide, water with a blood test you are not going to hide it. The heavier you are the longer it stays in your system,and the more alcohol you can consume before your staggering usually. He had zero...the city widen the road and made a few changes to save their butts I it enough I don't know...I'm glad the other children knew better not to try to play beat the car. This was an individual child making a child decision. Parent didn't want to make the trip with the kids ...they placed to much responsibility on an 11yr old. Shame on you!!! Blessings for the children.....

Judy   February 11th, 2010 4:49 pm ET

I'm in California this case smells of police cover up.Maybe the state is out of money and want to avoid a law suit.Its clear the judge was not going to let any thing in to show misconduct on the police side.A life was taken because a (LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER)was distracted by personal issues(PHONE)and had been drinking.I believe he was under the influence are he would not have thrown a bottle in the bushes,all so he would have went to the hospital.To not have offered condolences to the family is not only arrogant, I find cruel.

Daddy Don   February 11th, 2010 4:51 pm ET

We are witnessing a miscarriage of justice.

Sandy G. Johnson   February 11th, 2010 5:03 pm ET

it also bothers me when people say it was the child's fault. And the parents. it is not like the children were "playing" in and around the street. They were trying to cross it...after they borrowed sugar from across the street. By the testimony of the other kids...and I do believe they were truthfull...they had been taught how to look and cross the street. They were even trying to stick together and wait for the one lagging behind. It sounded like they crossed the street on a regular basis. It didn't sound like there even WAS a cross walk for them to cross on. Unfortunately the little girl either didn't hear, see. or misjudged the sppedd and distance. It WAS an accident...but if maybe if Killings would have had full attention...not been speeding, no cell phone, no alcohol,....etc...he COULD have stopped or avoided it.

But the kid is not to blame. I myself witnessed (at the age of 11) my own sister and her friend being struck by a speeding car in our back alleyway....that driver took off...fortunately he was caught down the road. I will NEVER forget the sight of them flying throughthe air...and that was 40 years ago!!!

These are children....not small adults. How it is handled will affect them forever. Blaming them and their parents won't help. They aren't criminals...they were in their world and unfortunately Mr Killings came flying from HIS world into theirs. So be concious of what is coming our way...andhow to protect ourselves and our children from it.

Liz   February 11th, 2010 7:56 pm ET

In December, my boyfriend was killed in a car accident. The man driving the truck that hit us was 50 yrs old and didn't have his license. He went home that Saturday night to be with his family while my Jacob could not. The only trouble he's gotten in was a ticket for driving without a license and a ticket for driving on the wrong side of the road. You should be grateful this guy is even having a trial.

Roy   February 11th, 2010 8:48 pm ET

The one thing that makes no sense to me is that he said he did not want to put on his lights and siren because it might spook the perp who was robbing the home. Their is a thing called a code two response which means using their lights and only use the siren at enter sections and traffic lights to ask for due regard then turn siren off. This is a very tragic event in both famlies lives but people seem to forget that this man will have that little girls dieing face burnt in his memorie for the rest of his life. prayers go out to both families.

Mike   February 12th, 2010 12:59 am ET

what else is new? I see patrol cars all the time speeding around breaking every law in the book. I guess this time the law finally caught up to this SGT.

Tom   February 12th, 2010 1:10 am ET

The state of TN has placed a cap of $300,000 on civil lawsuits that involve public officials, and civil servants. Obviously that includes the police. The Civil suit is already concluded, and settled for $220,000. It's a shameful amount for the life of a child. I don't understand why ANYONE is defending the officers actions, particularly his driving without lights or sirens. If they're not in use how is the public supposed to have fair warning of such an oncoming danger? It's been said that he needs to make a stealthy approach at the scene of the crime he's responding to. What good is that if you kill someone with your car before you even reach the other scene? Speeding cars of any type on the roadway are a hazard to the general public. Another poster says there's already a law on the books requiring Emergency Responders to have lights and sirens running anytime they exceed the posted speed limit. That sounds like common sense thinking to me.

Killings is charged with recklessness, not murder. Murder requires proof of intent to commit a crime, but recklessness has nothing at all to do with intent. It simply means he ignored a known risk, and killed someone as a result. If the law the other poster mentioned, requiring lights and sirens to be in use does in fact exist, then he's guilty as charged. If that law doesn't exist, then it time for the legislature to enact it.

Kenny   February 12th, 2010 3:04 am ET

Lets say that someone in your family has a gun to thier head or a knife to thier thoat. Should the police run lights and sirens so they can get to you fast. This might end in death to your family member, because the suspect hears the police coming. Maybe it would be better if they did not run lights and siren and drive the speed limit, that way people can say they took thier time.

The aunt stated in her in her interview, that she call the police five times and it took them a long time and is upset because the police officer that hit her neice was driving to fast.

I feel sometimes police officers needs to get to a crime without being heard and they need to that in a hurry. The officer needs to watch and try to prevent accidents. I also think the parents need to take some responsablity for what happen. A police officer is out thier to prevent these things from happening and this officer did not mean to hit this girl, but it is easy to point the finger at him.

A police officer is allowed to carry weapons and do things that other people can not. This is to catch criminals. A police officer puts his life at risk every day. I ask that you think before you judge.

Biff Waldo   February 12th, 2010 10:10 am ET

Not guilty the jury has spoken.

Kim   February 12th, 2010 10:41 am ET

This was a accident. I feel the courts are wasting our money once again. Why was a 11 year old out unsupervised? People we need to stop tearing our nation down. It was a accident, he was going to assist another person. The man has no faults on his record. I feel as a nation we hold people with titles to a standard where they can never mess up. He is human, he is allowed to make mistakes, he is not God, just human.

God wants us as a nation to come together and stop tearing each other down.

Peggy A. Roush   February 12th, 2010 11:49 am ET

My grand daughter Cassandra Thompson was killed under the same cirucmstance as this case. They only difference was that the police officer was responding to a non-emergency call. In fact, another officer was called to a couple of teenagers disturbing the peace and fighting. This officer was trying to get to the scene before the other officer. Cassie was crossing the street and was only two step away from the side walk. She was killed instantly. He did not get any crimminal charges, but Cassie's dad has a Civil suit going on.

John Thompson   February 12th, 2010 11:52 am ET

This was a tragic ACCIDENT. If a law enforcement officer on duty gets charged with a crime in a situation like this then don't expect the next time you send out an urgent call to get a quick response. If I was an officer I would take my time and go the posted speed limit no matter what the call was about. Domestic assault, home invasion, burglary in progress, whatever. The girl was in a crouching position by the side of the road trying to beat the traffic. If he had been going 35 miles per hour she still would have lost her life.

tammy   February 12th, 2010 12:05 pm ET

I believe that Ron Killings did have a right to speed because he was on the job and going to an emergency situation HOWEVER, he should have lights on. When a police officer does not have his emergency lights on then his car is just like any other car on the road. In that case, his speeding is being reckless.

scott bryan   February 12th, 2010 12:11 pm ET

No lights. No siren. Speeding well over the limit. There needs to be some time served. Some type of punishment. If the girl had seen lights and heard siren, She would not have challenged the car in hot pursuit with no lights and siren.

brandon   February 12th, 2010 12:20 pm ET

anouther cop gets away with it there above the law as always

tammy   February 12th, 2010 12:45 pm ET

I cannot believe they find him not guilty. He did not have his emergency lights on. If the little girl saw the lights I'm sure that she would have made a different decision about running across the street. If he did not have his lights on then he should have been going the speed limit. There was testimony that stated she would have made it across without getting hit. And as a police officer if he was getting a call to an emergency situation and knew he would need to speed, he should have gotten off a personal cell phone call. It is not illegal to talk and drive, but if your going to talk and the phone and go 62 in a 30 then you are being reckless.

tammy   February 12th, 2010 12:51 pm ET

He was speeding without his emergency lights on... then his speeding was breaking the law.... he broke the law and a girl died. He should be guilty. If he wasnt breaking the law she would still be alive. A persons life is worth more than civil court when somewhen was breaking the law. I dont think he should get 4 years but he should have been guilty.

Shan   February 12th, 2010 1:10 pm ET

My heart goes out to the family of the child. I have witnessed children on a military base playing this same game and after being told by myself and another older child to stop, they continued. Only after alerting the base MP's did this child stop this!
This seems to be a "cool" game for the younger children to play. I believe the witness who stated that the child was in a "crouching" position as though she was going to race ,is telling the truth! I have three children, ages 15, 11 and 9 and at no time will I allow them to cross our street by themselves. It's dangerous and children can not accurately judge the speed of a vehicle. Officer Killings may have been on the phone, however, those children at that young of an age should not have been crossing the street at dusk or any other time by themselves. No one is the winner here, a child is dead and an officer who has dedicated his life to "protect and serve" now has to live with the fact that a child died while he was responding to a call. My prayers go out to all of them...Just too sad!

Jim   February 12th, 2010 1:30 pm ET

I am not surprised of the not guilty verdict. If all the evidence would have been allowed in,this verdict would have been different. This trial showed the difference between a law enforcement official and the average citizen. Cover up,cover up, cover up!!!!! My thoughts and prayers are with that poor little girls family.

Ann   February 12th, 2010 1:43 pm ET

I would also like to add about the jury... if anyone has ever had jury duty, the facts only brought in to the court room is all the facts you are given. The decision that you have to make is based on what you are authorized to hear or see by the judge. If there are other reasons for not hearing anything in the court room, you will not know about it until the case is over and the decision was made. It is how the law works, like it or not that is the system. As voters and citizens, be careful what you vote on and vote for...

Ann   February 12th, 2010 2:02 pm ET

Anyone who works in the field or knows of anyone in the field, uses their personal phone for work and personal. The officer did neglect the law for speeding through the neighbor, especially without the lights on. I do understand that the lights being out was necessary to do because of the reason of not exposing the purpose for his call. However the child made it a point to try to run in front of the car while it past. Eye witness saved that officer from going to jail. There was neglect on both parties but the act of a child to intentionally run in front of a car to begin with is what saved the officer. Depending on the lawyers, if it were anyone else, we would be charged with the crime because any normal citizen should NOT be going through a neighbor hood with lights out at 60 miles an hour. So yes, law enforcement officers do have an advantage. That was good a good decision of the jury, but it sucks that the family lost the child due to a stupid childish act. It was a lose lose situation and destroyed the lives of people involved.

diane spero   February 12th, 2010 2:37 pm ET

it is time law enforement be held to a higher standard and proscuted
for their crimes as civilians are.

as a victim of police misconduct and writing false charges , that
law enforcement needs to through the process and punishments, they cause others to go through.

its seems their is one standard for civilian crimmals and for law enforcement criminals.

Larry   February 12th, 2010 9:33 pm ET

Well as far as am concerned the case is vice versa and it can really happen to anyone in the sense that he was not aware of the child before the hit,he was responding to a call and he needs to respond as fast as he can to back up the other officer which warrants his speeding. Basically, the test shows that he does not have alcohol present in the system but he had some liquor bottles in his car which is not good enough. Also it wasn't a good idea for the children walking by road, the truth is always bitter be it marked vehicle or not, siren or flashy lights it night still happen cos God understands it most so am sorry for the girls family for the loss. Everything over to God...

Sam Myers   February 13th, 2010 3:03 am ET

Police officers respond to calls all the time without sirens or light... Although it is dumb it does happen and they're actually trained to do this. It is unfair to penalize him for following procedures and witnesses even said that she tried to race across in front of him.

vj   February 27th, 2010 9:44 pm ET

I think maybe some steps were missed, and not to minimizing what happened, but people are making Mr Killings look like a violin, I just think this was a sad accident that took place with a young girl that was from a different town. How else can you explain none of the other children running across the road?

policeAdvocate   February 28th, 2010 2:23 pm ET

Just because he is an officer does not mean he is not human, does not mean he is not a fellow brotheran just like you all and I. Several officers testified that Sgt. Killings was responding to a call to help another officer out. We dont know the nature of that call, or the sense of urgency that the two officers may have felt. We are all human and we all make mistakes, not one of us are perfect.
Im sorry the little girl lost her life and the family will continue to be in my prayers but instead of using this as an opertunity to bash and down talk an officer. we should show our support for a fellow American. Everyone wants to hate the police and say they are wrong doing and miss use their power but no one knows the life of an officer unless u are one.

MMMXXXV   June 22nd, 2010 10:16 am ET

Aaron: I see your point. However, if this is a pattern, it does need to be addressed. On the other hand, to continue harping on where it took place only stirs up dissention and this is not necessary. A child is a child regardless and this could have happened in ANY where USA.

BTW: This is one of the most intelligent discussions that I have read on the internet. Very refreshing to know that there are some bright people out there!

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