Here we go again. Yet another questionable shooting of a fleeing suspect, this time in Raleigh, NC.
The neighborhood where an officer fatally shot a black man during a foot chase is on edge Tuesday, awaiting answers in one of the latest police shootings in a predominantly African-American community.
Eyewitnesses have offered descriptions of what happened Monday, including a woman who said a black man was shot in the back by a white police officer, but authorities have so far been tightlipped.
Raleigh police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said an officer was pursuing a man who was wanted on a felony drug charge when the officer opened fire. The chief said a gun was found near the suspect’s body, but she did not say whether it was his.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is confirming the identity of the black man who was fatally shot.
The agency says 24-year-old Akiel Denkins, of Raleigh, was killed and that agents have talked to his mother, Rolonda Byrd. She had earlier complained that authorities had not told her that her son had been killed and that they wouldn’t let her see his body.
The news release from the State Bureau of Investigation said its report would be delivered to the Wake County District Attorney’s office upon its completion. It did not release any other details.
Raleigh police said Monday that Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy opened fire on the suspect when he was serving an arrest warrant. Police say a gun was found near Denkins, but it’s not clear if he was armed during the chase.
After the shooting, neighborhood residents began chanting “no justice, no peace” — a slogan used by the Black Lives Matter movement. Later in the evening, about a dozen people gathered around an anti-police sign with an expletive that was hoisted on a utility pole.
The head of the North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for a fair and transparent investigation.
“If one is running away, that is not a license to kill,” the Rev. William Barber II said.
Byrd says she is the mother of the man who is believed to have been killed. She said she has talked to the medical examiner and police chief, but they have not told her definitively that her 24-year-old son Akiel Denkins is dead.
She said she went to the medical examiner’s office, but wasn’t allowed to look at the body.
“They stopped me at the door. Somehow they knew I was on my way,” Byrd said.
She told CBS affiliate WNCN that her son was wanted on a warrant and while running from police, was shot in the back. Byrd said her son had two children.
“He was unarmed and he was running away because they couldn’t catch him and he jumped the fence and they shot at him seven times,” Byrd said.
Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said a gun was found near Denkins and the shooting remains under investigation.
A day earlier, she questioned the police officer’s use of force.
“Why should we show our calm when they’re not showing theirs? Why wasn’t there a Taser pulled out to Taser him while he was jumping over that fence? What happened to beanbags guns? They used to use those to stop a criminal. They don’t do that anymore. Now it’s just bullets — all bullets. Why?” she said.
Denkins had previous drug convictions and was released on $10,000 secured bond in October after being charged with two counts of selling or delivering cocaine and one count of felony possession of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, according to court documents. He failed to show up for a court date and an order for his arrest was filed Friday.
The officer involved in the shooting was identified as senior officer D.C. Twiddy, 29, according to police spokesman Jim Sughrue. He said Twiddy has been placed on administrative leave, in accordance with department policy, while the State Bureau of Investigation looks into the matter. Twiddy’s race was not released.