The air in Raleigh, North Carolina remains tense today as accounts of the police-shooting that took place yesterday continue to surface. According to Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, Akiel Denkins, 24, was fatally shot by a policeman during a foot pursuit near Bragg and East streets in Southeast Raleigh at about noon on Monday.
Monday afternoon Raleigh police identified the officer involved to be Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy, 29. Eyewitness reports from the N&O and WRAL suggest that Denkins was shot seven times in the back while attempting to flee from the officer. Other reports claim that Denkins jumped a fence to flee and as the officer attempted to chase he fell, causing bystanders to laugh at him and his response to that incident was to discharge his weapon. The statement by Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown states that a firearm was found "in close proximity to" the body after the shooting. However, it has not been suggested that Denkins attempted to use a weapon or engage the officers at all. All accounts so far describe him as fleeing. The language "in close proximity to" has many citizens questioning the specifics of the situation.
The police statement and further reports confirm that Denkins was wanted on a felony drug charge and had dealt with similar charges in the past. There have been no reports regarding Denkins having a history of violence, and he was never charged with any violent crimes.
City leaders and leaders with-in the progressive community tend to push for transparency in the on-going investigation. Rev. William Barber was quoted at a NAACP press conference today saying, "A warrant for arrest is not a license to kill". Roylanda Byrd, the mother of the suspected victim, says she still has not been allowed to identify her son's body and has not been officially notified of his death.
As new information continues to become available every hour, the thoughts and prayers of Raleigh citizens remain with the victim's family. Members of the local community are anxiously waiting to see how local and state officials handle this investigation moving forward.
This is a cross-post from RestoreNC. The original article and updates can be found here: