Home / #BlackLivesMatter / Body of Akiel Denkins Finally Returned To Family, Raleigh’s Black Community Fear Justice Will Not Be Served
Akiel Denkins was shot and killed by a police officer Monday (Source: Facebook)
Akiel Denkins was shot and killed by a police officer Monday (Source: Facebook)

Body of Akiel Denkins Finally Returned To Family, Raleigh’s Black Community Fear Justice Will Not Be Served

This morning, Rolanda Byrd received the body of her slain 24-year-old son, Akiel Denkins.  Denkins was shot and killed by a Raleigh police officer on Monday.  The officer’s identity has been revealed to be 29-year-old Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy.

Report on the killing of Akiel Denkins at Injustice.in

For three days Byrd had not been able to receive her son’s body from the medical examiners and had been turned away at the door. She also had not received a phone call confirming that her son was killed and instead had found out about his death from witnesses who were familiar with Denkins.

By Wednesday the medical examiners had completely the autopsy and stated they would release their findings after the investigation is complete.

“I just hope that the truth comes out in the end,” Yvette Cross, Denkins’ cousin told WRAL. “No one knows the truth right now but the Raleigh Police Department, and I hope justice is served.”

“We just want the truth,” Bishop Darnell Dixon told WRAL after spending time with the shooting victim’s family. “(His mother) was happy, it brought some closure, this is my child.”

A prayer vigil was held in memory of Denkins at Vintage Church in downtown Raleigh Wednesday morning.

As WRAL reports:

The three dozen people at the church gathered around Byrd at the end of the vigil to offer support as she begins to plan her son’s funeral, though she said she didn’t know about the vigil until Wednesday morning.

“I decided to get my family together to be here,” Byrd said, “because the funeral proceedings that I have to go through today, I feel like I needed the prayer.”

Following the vigil, a group of pastors and Raleigh city leaders met to discuss how to best handle the community’s reaction to the killing. Some have expressed sadness, while other have expressed frustration.

“The community is as calm as possible, considering everything that is going on,” said William Cooper III, who lives in the neighborhood.

Caleb Williams, who lives near Bragg Street and called Denkins a close friend, said he believes people in the community will remain calm for their own safety.

“We are on a peace treaty,” he said. “If we come with violence, there ain’t going to be nothing but more violence. That means more youth being taken off the streets. That is something they are already trying to achieve.”

Masean Sampson told WNCN:

“We’re tired of losing our people and nothing getting done,” said Sampson, who lives near Bragg and East streets where Denkins was killed. He said that fears of violence and rioting over the police shooting are far-fetched.

“That’s what they expect us to do, so we are going to give them what they don’t want and just come together as peaceful,” he said.

Following the vigil, church leaders met to discuss how best to care for a grieving, frightened community.  Above all they pledged non-violence and cited the beliefs of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In his speech on Monday, Dr. William Barber of the NC chapter of the NAACP called for calm and understanding in the community and asked that people concentrate on finding the truth.  He called for a fair and transparent investigation and stated that the NAACP has put together a list of questions for the investigators.

“There are some questions that do need to be asked,” said Barber. “Was he unarmed? Was he running away? Who found the gun? Did the gun have prints on it? Whose prints? What is the history of the gun? Again, a warrant for arrest is not a license to kill.”

Barber also addressed the topic of body cameras, which officers in Raleigh are still not required to wear. Without a body camera, Denkin’s death will be more difficult to investigate and, if necessary, to prosecute. City leaders were to meet to discuss the issue Monday but delayed the discussion after reports of Denkin’s death.

About Rebecca Lawrence

Rebecca Lawrence is a freelancer in Brooklyn, NY. She is owned by two blind cats. Tweet at her @rebeccalawrence

Check Also

Credit: Bossip.com

AirbnbWhileBlack: NC Host Rejects And Harasses Black Businesswoman, Says “I Hate N***ers So I’m Going To Cancel’

“This is the south darling, find another place to rest your n***er head.”   Airbnb, …