A march was held in Raleigh, North Carolina after a 24-year-old man was reportedly shot in the back by police. A witness claims Akiel Denkins was being chased by officer D.C. Twiddy when the officer fell while hopping a fence and opened fire at a fleeing Denkins.
Denkins died shortly thereafter.
Reports from Slate and other sources claim that more than 200 people were present at the peaceful march and vigil on Monday evening after Denkins was killed earlier that day. Protestors were noticeably anxious but ultimately peaceful as chants of “black lives matter” were repeated.
Truvalia Kearney, a witness to the shooting, says that she was standing next to Denkins who took off running when a squad car approached.
“The officer jumped the fence and fell down,” Kearney told the News & Observer in Raleigh. “He pulled his gun out and started shooting. [Denkins] got shot in the back.”
Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown gave a press conference where she didn’t disclose the name of the victim but did reveal that a gun was found close to the body. As of now, there is no word whether or not there are claims that Denkins reached for the weapon during the chase.
While the officer that shot Denkins was not wearing a body camera. Ironically, the use of body cameras was up for discussion for the area on Monday but was pushed back as a result of the shooting.
Denkin’s mother, Rolanda Byrd, wasn’t informed by authorities who the victim of the shooting was, but witnesses in the area reportedly told her. Byrd says that a video of the incident is in the possession of the family’s attorney, although the shooting can only be heard and not seen.
Denkins is reportedly the 167th person to be shot and killed by a police officer this year, according to the Washington Post. In 2015 there were reportedly 990 in total.
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