Last Saturday, 19 year old Denzel Curnell aka Jaba had an encounter with a police officer at the housing projects where he lived in Charleston, South Carolina. That unfortunate encounter has left the unarmed youth dead, shot in the head, and has raised a lot of unanswered questions. According to The Post and Courier, ” None of the half dozen residents who were interviewed were willing to give their names, but they all had the same story. They all believed that Curnell was shot while kneeling and had no weapon. Several said they saw it happen.”
A note left on the scene by a girl named Sunshine was attached to a pole where a memorial to Denzel was constructed near where he was shot. It read:
“JaBa was always a good person. He never bothered anyone. One day he was walking in the back of Bayside (Bridgeview’s former name) and he heard a voice that said put your hands behind your back, and he did that, and then the police shot him in the back, and we want justice for JaBa.”
Now the Charleston Police Chief, after being quite for days, is saying there is no evidence that the officer did anything wrong or even fired his gun. Even worse, the police department sent an email to city leaders saying Denzel’s death was a “possible suicide”. Police are saying they found a gun, but Denzel has no history of any criminal activity. Also, the spokesmen of the State Law Enforcement Division, who is investigating the incident said, “We were told there was a struggle, and a shot or shots were fired, and an individual is deceased. The officer is OK.” How can there be a struggle with an officer if this was a suicide?
This is the 23rd officer involved shooting in Charleston, SC this year alone. According to family and friends, Denzel Curnell had just completed basic training for the U.S. Army in Fort Benning, Ga. They said he mostly stayed in the house playing video games and rarely went outside. Disputing the allegations of Denzel’s killing being a possible suicide, his aunt, Sylvia Campbell said, “He wanted to travel in the military. He wanted to get married and have children. His life was cut down at an early age.” Please sign the online petition calling for the prosecution of the officer who shot and killed Denzel “Jaba” Curnell #JusticeforJaba