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Editorial: Cop Indicted & Fired For Murdering Black Virginia Teen William Chapman

A Portsmouth, Virginia, police officer was fired and was in custody Thursday after he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old man in April, police told NBC News.

Officer Stephen D. Rankin, 36, who is white, was also charged with use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the shooting of William Chapman II, who was Black. Chapman, who was shot in the face and the chest, had no alcohol or drugs in his system, and his pockets had been turned inside out, an autopsy found.

Rankin surrendered late Thursday afternoon and was being processed, Portsmouth police Detective Misty Holley told NBC News.

Police Chief Dennis Mook said later in a statement that Rankin had been “terminated” and extended condolences to Chapman’s family.

“I understand that this tragedy does not end today,” her said. “A family has lost a loved one, an officer and his family’s lives have been turned upside down and our community is hurting.”

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