Relatives are claiming details about today’s police shooting and killing of 24-year-old father of two Akiel Denkins that are damning to the police, including that Denkins was shot in the back while fleeing.
As per the account from local TV station WRAL, Denkins had three previous drug convictions and was supposedly wanted on another felony drug charge.
An eyewitness says he started running upon seeing a police officer, and the officer then chased him and “started shooting at him” when Denkins had leaped over a fence the officer could not.
Denkins’ mother, Rolanda Byrd, based on accounts she says she got from eyewitnesses, says her son was running, was shot in the back seven times, and had no gun.
The Raleigh News & Observer report, which also finds a named ear-witness, Louis Rodriguez, who says:
“I heard somebody say, ‘Stop, stop,’ then I heard, like, six shots,” Rodriguez said. “Then I heard the screams. Man, it was loud.”
The story also states the current outstanding warrant was for not showing up in court on an October cocaine possession with intent to distribute arrest.
The police so far are releasing few details, except that a gun was found “in close proximity to” Denkins’ corpse. They have so far said nothing about the gun being aimed or the officer feeling threatened, but then again they’ve said very little at all.
Somewhat ironically, as per this statement from the state branch of the ACLU, the Raleigh City Council was scheduled to discuss getting their police fitted with body cameras of the sort that can at least help settle the argued facts in situations like that—if not always make things better for police, or aggrieved citizens. According to that ACLU statement, rather than hitting the topic with added vigor, the Council chose to avoid it after the Denkins shooting.