The family of Amonderez Green, the 18-year-old who died this week following a confrontation with police officers near Ferguson, Missouri, is looking for answers after expressing dissatisfaction with authorities' account that Green committed suicide.
Donneka Sloan, a cousin of Green's, told The Huffington Post on Thursday that "there's still a lot of disbelief" over Wednesday night's shooting in Normandy, a town just south of Ferguson. "Right now, we're very hurt and confused," said Sloan. "There's a lot of conflicting accounts of what actually happened."
In the aftermath of the shooting, which police ruled a suicide in the midst of a confrontation with cops, many eyewitnesses claim they heard Green yell, "Don't kill me."
Authorities say they approached Green after the teen's family contacted them to say he was suicidal. Police say Green fired several shots at officers, and that they returned fire but did not hit him. A hospital assessment provided by the police shows he suffered a self-inflicted wound. Relatives, however, describe Green in a statement as a "sweet, hardworking" man who "loved his life," and said that they don't necessarily believe the police account.
"We need proof," said Sloane. "... We're prepared to seek a second autopsy. We're looking into legal perspectives, seeking an attorney." She added the police haven't had much contact with Green's mother, Lakea. "When his body was being transported, Lakea wasn't allowed to go with him," she said. "That furthered this factor of distrust."
Green's father has said he believes Ferguson police shot his son, but other family members aren't jumping to conclusions. "[The Ferguson Police Department] is a department known for a lot of things right now, and that causes a lot of speculation," he said.
In a statement, the Green family expressed gratitude for the condolences and support received since Amonderez died. "The Green Family thanks everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers in this very tough and disturbing time," it reads.
"Amonderez was sweet, hardworking and loved his life. We will not cease until justice is brought forth and the complete truth is sought," the statement continues. "We are not satisfied with the police investigation at this point, but we hold in our hearts that the truth about his death will come to light. We, the immediate family of Amonderez Green, ask that in this time your thoughts and prayers are with Lakea, his mother, and his siblings. We will release further statements when more details are revealed. Thank you."
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(Photo: Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)