A Raleigh, N.C, police officer shot and killed 24-year-old Akiel Denkins while attempting to arrest him on a felony drug charge, but official and witness accounts of the events leading up to the shooting differ.
Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said at a press conference that a Raleigh officer shot and killed a man during a foot chase on Monday afternoon, and that a firearm was located in close proximity to the body. They did not release the shooting victim's name.
But several people near the scene, including Denkins' mother, Rolanda Byrd, identified the deceased man to The News & Observer as Denkins.
At least one witness told The News & Observer that Denkins was shot by the pursuing officer in the back, and that he appeared to be unarmed at the time. Byrd told reporters that other witnesses had told her the same thing.
“If he had a gun, he didn’t pull it out,” Truvalia Kearney of Zebulon told The News & Observer.
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More than 200 people gathered for a vigil to mourn Denkins on Monday evening. The New York Times reports pastors and activists gave speeches, while others chanted "black lives matter."
Raleigh police identified the police officer involved in the shooting as Officer D.C. Twiddy, 29, a 7-year-veteran of the department. He has been put on administrative leave pending an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and internal affairs.