February 29, 2016 - UNITED STATES - Over 100 people rallied in Raleigh, North Carolina after police fatally shot an African American man during a foot chase. Police officials said a gun was found near the man who was wanted on felony drug charges. Witnesses said the police shot him in the back. An 18-year-old black high school student was tased and shot dead by police officers in Roanoke, Virginia, who say the teen did not obey commands and pointed a BB gun at them. Officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
Fatal police shooting of African American male in North Carolina sparks protestPolice did not identify the man but a witness told ABC11 that a white officer shot her son, Akiel Denkins, 24, who was wanted on a warrant.
"He was running away," said Rolanda Byrd. "They couldn't catch him so they shot at him seven times."
"Everybody seen it," said Byrd. "They ain't going down with this one. They ain't gonna get away with this one, there's at least 40 eyewitnesses out here."
Byrd said several people told her that her 24-year-old son was unarmed and was shot by a white officer.
Raleigh police Chief, Cassandra Deck Brown confirmed that during the course of a pursuit, “the suspect was shot and killed by the officer.”
“[It] is known that a firearm was located in close proximity to the deceased suspect. That weapon, along with other elements available at the scene will be processed,” said Brown in a statement released to reporters. “Multiple investigations…are still in their early stages.”
“This is a sad day, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved,” Chief Brown added. “I ask everyone to please be patient while the follow-up investigations are conducted to determine the facts about what happened today.”
Louis Rodriguez was up a ladder putting up vinyl siding on a home when he heard the commotion.
“I heard somebody say, ‘Stop, stop,’ then I heard, like, six shots,” Rodriguez told the Raleigh News & Observer. “Then I heard the screams. Man, it was loud.”
The crowd is growing in size on the Garner side of Bragg Street pic.twitter.com/SkTOilr2uX— Jill Knight (@jillography) February 29, 2016
This is Rolanda Byrd. Her son is Akiel Denkins. 24 years old. 2 children. Police won't say if shooting was fatal. pic.twitter.com/K6jJCiZqOG— Jon Camp (@JonCampABC11) February 29, 2016
mother of Akiel Denkins says her son was shot & killed by #RPD officers today #wral pic.twitter.com/nfYnM9fvjG— Kathryn Brown (@WRALKathryn) February 29, 2016
Powerful photos from #Raleigh shooting scene #akieldenkins More at https://t.co/CS8xxhmDb9 @newsobserver pic.twitter.com/VU6TUlXqmh— Scott Sharpe (@ssharpe) March 1, 2016
Vigil attendees are marching to a church on Holmes St in Raleigh pic.twitter.com/U19MPw8pR3— Jill Knight (@jillography) March 1, 2016
As word of the shooting spread, a group of demonstrators arrived at the scene and started chanting, "black lives matter."
Residents were discussing two locations for a vigil at 7:00pm.
The vigil on Bragg Street outside the bodega where Denkins was before he ran from police where several hundred gathered.
Hundreds of residents then marched through the streets to a church on Holmes Street.
In a statement, the Wake County District Attorney, Lorrin Freeman, asked for "people's patience as we work to ensure that this investigation is thorough and complete." Freeman said they will release information as it becomes verified and available.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina said in a statement, "Along with many community members in Raleigh, we are alarmed by these reports, trying to learn more details about what happened, and express our deepest condolences to Akiel's family. 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."
Virginia police kill black teen wielding BB gun
Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall identified the deceased on Monday as Kionte DeShaun Spencer, saying the teen was shot twice on Friday night, WDBJ reported. Prior to the shooting, police made two attempts to use a Taser on Spencer, but neither was effective for unknown reasons.
The teenager died of his wounds to the hip and the collarbone at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was taken 15 minutes after the shooting.
According to the preliminary investigation, police responded to a 911 call about a black male wearing a bandana and a hoodie waving a handgun in the parking lot.
“He was waving it at cars, and he turned around and waved it at me,” witness Thomas Gill told the Roanoke Times.
According to the police, officers demanded Spencer to stop and drop the gun they saw in his hands. Spencer ignored the commands and continued walking. When he turned toward them, two officers opened fire.
The weapon was still in Spencer’s hand when he was shot, Hall said.
“That is a potential deadly encounter,” the police chief said. “Our officers responded within their training.”
The gun recovered from Spencer’s right hand was identified as a 4.5-mm Crosman C-11, a CO2-powered pellet pistol. During the press conference on Monday, Roanoke County police showed a visual comparison between the C-11 and a Heckler & Koch 930, a 9mm handgun it closely resembles.
At the conference, Hall also showed stills from dash-cam video in the police cruisers, which prove that the teenager was armed.
“I don’t know at this point if this was a situation that could have been quote ‘de-escalated’,” Hall said, according to WSLS. “This was a deadly force encounter, despite the fact that we now know that this handgun was an air gun.”
While police claimed their actions were within protocol, Spencer’s family is suspicious.
"Definitely uncharacteristic of my brother, that's why I didn't believe it,” Spencer's brother Carl said, according to WDBJ. “Like, I couldn't believe that man. Like, I never thought it would happen like that."
The officers, who have not been named, were put on an administrative leave, a standard procedure in such cases.
Salt Lake City teen shot by police had broomstickRiot police were trying to disperse angry crowds throwing glass and rocks following an officer-involved shooting in downtown Salt Lake City. A 16 year-old was shot four times by intervening police after an altercation with another man. Witnesses say excessive force was used.
Shots were fired in the Rio Grande St. area of Salt Lake city on Saturday night, police said. According to reports, the shooting involved two police officers. The current condition of the teenager is unknown. He has been taken to a local hospital.
Salt Lake Police detective Greg Wilking told KSL: "There was an altercation taking place, and our officers intervened into that altercation.
"It was a very active scene for the officers involved down there... They needed other officers to respond. Very upset...people are emotional right now." KSL TV reporter Sandra Yi tweeted that a crowd of people had gathered at the scene and started yelling: “They shot an innocent kid,” referring to police. “Witness says officers shot a 16yo kid. He says the teen had a metal pipe. He heard 4 gunshots,” Yi said on her Twitter account. But the young man's friend says he was armed only with part of a broom stick.
BREAKING: Officer-involved shooting in Rio Grande District of #SLC. Multiple suspects in custody. @KUTV2News pic.twitter.com/W2e4ey4RwT— Jeremy Harris (@jeremykharris) February 28, 2016
This group says they're friends of teen who was shot by police. They say he is 17 and from Kenya @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/0JD4VUVHCK— Sandra Yi (@KSL_SandraYi) February 28, 2016
Of the two officers who arrived to deal with the initial incident, at least one fired shots, it is being reported.
Witnesses felt the police did not give the teen a chance to surrender, and used excessive force, leading to public outrage. The friend, Mohammad, told the Salt Lake Tribune, "They told him to put it down, once," - referring to the broom - and "started shooting him as soon as he turned around."
He added that his friend was hit in the chest and stomach.Police said that up to 100 officers were on the scene to deal with the angry crowd that has gathered in response to the shooting. Several officers were reportedly injured by the rocks and glass the crowd threw.
Traffic in the area has been disrupted and a warning has been issued urging the public to avoid the area. Police have sealed four blocks around the Gateway Mall for the next several hours.
Local media have said that multiple suspects have been taken into custody.
“Cops here are tense, extremely tense. Large crowds gathered, I’ve counted 5 in police custody,” KUTV2 News reporter Jeremy Harris tweeted.Fox 13 first heard reports of a shooting at around 8pm, though it wasn't until 10 that police had reported the incident involved an officer.
‘F*** the ni**ers!’ man yells before firing shots at Texas campaign HQBeaumont, Texas police are searching for a man who fired shots into the window of the campaign headquarters of Jefferson County Sheriff candidate, Zena Stephens. Stephens told 12 News she had been standing outside her campaign headquarters with a group of people when a white man in a white jeep pulled up and shouted "f*** the ni**ers,” before firing a shot into a front window of the building.
Stephens said roughly 20 other people had been inside at the time but no was hurt.
No bullet was immediately found but police believe the weapon used may have been a pellet gun. They said they are searching for the person who fired the shot.
Witnesses said they were nearly hit by the gunman, with so many people coming and going from the building that evening.
Gun fired at Zena Stephens Campaign headquarters— JuanRodríguez 12News (@_JuanRodriguez_) March 1, 2016
Candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff
More on @12NewsNow at 10 pic.twitter.com/Wri8V6ur27
"It could have been a tragedy," Tanya Robertson told 12 News. "To the person that did this, say your prayers tonight. Ask God to turn your life around."
Zena Stephens is campaigning to become the democratic candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff Office. The county, in the southeast part of the state on the Gulf coast, is considered the most democratic in Texas. Voters there haven’t supported a Republican for president since 1972.
Stephens was the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy before she planned to run for the nomination for sheriff in the March primary. She was with sheriff office for 16 years.
The 12 News channel said she made history when she became Jefferson County’s first African American female deputy chief.
Currently, she is police chief at Prairie View A&M University where she led the school’s police since September 2013, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.
Stephens is running against Rod Carroll, assistant deputy chief, and Joe “QB” Stevenson, chief deputy in the Democratic primary. Fellow Democratic sheriff candidates expressed their shock and dismay.
"Thank God that no one was hurt,” Rod Carroll, told 12 News. “I do not condone that kind of behavior or violence. We, as a community, should stand against violence."
Stephens’ other opponent Joe Stevenson said, "It's just good that nobody was injured. Thank God that she and her campaign committee are safe. That's senseless. That's uncalled for."
The winner will run against retired Beaumont police lieutenant Ray Beck, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary.