Bond Granted in Virginia Police Shooting Case

     NORFOLK (CN) – A Portsmouth, Va. police officer indicted of murder in connection with the Taser death of a black teenager has been released on $75,000 bond.
     Portsmouth Police officer Steven Rankin was indicted on one charge of first degree murder last week in connection with the death of 18-year-old William Chapman. Rankin also faces a firearms charge in connection with the incident.
     Chapman was killed in a Walmart parking lot a Portsmouth, Va. in April, after a confrontation with Rankin in which the officer’s Taser was knocked from his hand, published reports said.
     Rankin’s attorney, Nicole Belote, told Wavy10News in Hampton Roads that his client used deadly force against Chapman because he feared for his life.
     “He no longer had the use of his Taser, which would have been an alternative for trying to control the situation,” Belote told the station.. “The Taser was knocked away from him prior to the shooting.”
     During the bond hearing, Commonwealth Attorney Stephanie Morales requested that no bond be given. However, after learning that Circuit Court Judge Johnny Morrison intended to grant bond to Rankin, Morales insisted she wanted nothing less than $200,000.
     State Police Special Agent G.A. Giusto stated to the court that before the shooting Rankin had texted another officer that he hated his job and the city.
     According to Guisto, Rankin’s text when on to say, “The city sucks and so does the rest of the world. People are just bad. I think the story was that God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if they could have found just 10 decent men, and he would have (smite) both cities.”
     After the bond hearing, Sallie Chapman, the shooting victim’s mother, said she was outraged by the decision to grant bond in this case..
     “An hour before he killed my son, that he hates the world, and he hates the people in it,” Chapman said. “So that means he woke up to kill. He just told you that, and you are going to give him bond, so he can go kill somebody else?”
     A court hearing was scheduled to be held on Friday to determine a trial date. Belote intends to ask for a change of venue.

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