A Black man in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been shot and killed by a police officer who was attempting to arrest him on a drug bust. The victim was unarmed and attempting to run away from the officer on foot. A witness said the officer opened fire after the man fell trying to climb a fence. A gun was found “in close proximity” to the victim's body, police say.
The Raleigh police have not yet released an official identity of the man, but have revealed that the police officer involved in the shooting was Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy. The victim was identified as 24-year-old Akiel Denkins by his mother, who said witnesses told her that her son was unarmed.
Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said in a statement that Twiddy had be attempting to arrest Denkins “on a felony drug charge.” Adding, “It is known that a firearm was located in close proximity to the deceased suspect.” But a woman who witnessed the event said in response to Deck-Brown’s public statement, “If he had a gun, he didn’t pull it out.”
Denkins, who had three previous drug convictions, including a 2015 possession with intent to distribute charge in 2015, leaves behind two children.
A crowd of about 100 people attended a vigil Monday evening at the spot of the killing, some of whom chanted, “Black lives matter,” and voiced their complaints about policing in the surrounding area.
The State Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh police internal affairs unit are set to conduct separate investigations.
(Photo: AP Photo/Gerry Broome)