Man Wanted On Drug Charge Killed By Police
( 4UMF NEWS ) Man Wanted On Drug Charge Killed By Police:
A North Carolina man wanted on a drug charge was fatally shot by a Raleigh police officer chasing the suspect on foot Monday, police said.
A crowd of around 100 people chanting “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace!” showed up just outside police lines at the tense scene of the noon shooting at Bragg and East Streets near downtown Raleigh, WTVD-TV reported.
Police didn’t immediately release the suspect’s name, but Rolanda Byrd told the TV station her 24-year-old son Akiel Denkins was the man killed. The group of locals was shown in footage gathered on the street and comforting the mom as police examined the scene.
“He was running away,” Byrd said. “They couldn't catch him so they shot at him seven times."
Investigators found a gun close to the suspect’s dead body after the officer’s pursuit, Raleigh police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said in a statement. She didn’t say whether it was the suspect’s weapon.
Officer D.C. Twiddy, 29, was trying to arrest the man on a felony drug charge when he shot and killed the suspect, Deck-Brown said.
Twiddy, a seven-year veteran of the Raleigh force assigned to the Field Operations Division, is on administrative leave pending the results of an independent investigation.
“This is a sad day, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved,” Deck-Brown said at City Hall, declining to provide other details about the circumstances of the shooting ahead of a review by the state Bureau of Investigation.
“I ask everyone to be patient while the follow-up investigations are conducted to determine the facts about what happened today,” Deck-Brown said.
Denkins was arrested eight different times in 2015 on charges including felony cocaine possession, carrying a concealed gun, assault on a female and resisting a public officer, Wake County records show.
The Raleigh Police Department’s internal affairs unit will probe Monday’s shooting for any possible departmental policy violations, Deck-Brown said. The chief promised to share more information “as promptly as possible” and provide a written report on the shooting to the city manager within five working days.
Byrd, Denkins’ mother, told The News & Observer of Charlotte her son got shot in the back while he was running away. Four or five people said Denkins, a father of two, was unarmed when he “he was shot seven times by a white officer with a bald head,” Byrd said.
“Everybody seen it,” Byrd told WTVD. “They ain't gonna get away with this one. There's at least 40 eyewitnesses out here.”
Community members lit candles at a makeshift memorial and held a vigil Monday night after police cleared the scene. Rapper Big Boi tweeted “#AkilDenkins” to his 1.1 million followers as the vigil was scheduled to begin.
North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union executive director Sarah Preston said “the public and the victim’s family deserve answers about today’s shooting” in a statement posted on the group’s website.
“What we do know is that far too many people of color are victims of wrongful targeting and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers across the country, and North Carolina is not immune to that reality,” Preston said.
Bishop Darnell Dixon, the pastor for 20 years at Bibleway Temple church roughly a quarter-mile from the scene, said he thought calm would prevail in the state’s capital city, where he described relations with the police as generally good.
“This is very different for this community, the actual shooting,” Dixon said. “I’m interested in knowing: ‘Why did it escalate to this point?’”
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