RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The NAACP has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shooting death of Akiel Denkins by a Raleigh police officer.
In a press conference Saturday afternoon, Rev. William Barber of the NAACP of North Carolina and attorneys representing Denkins’ family said they plan to fight the Wake County district attorney’s decision to not file charges against Officer D.C. Twiddy in the Feb. 29 shooting of Denkins.
“It’s hard to reconcile the inconsistency with what the officers have stated and what the autopsy is showing,” said Denkins family attorney, Priscilla McKoy.
McKoy, who is also Denkins’ cousin, said the state’s autopsy report showed bullets were shown to be traveling at a downward trajectory, which according to her, doesn’t make fit the narrative of the story.
“You have this wound here and this wound here, and the officers account states they were faced to face but how do you reconcile an injury to the back right shoulder,” McKoy said.
Denkins’ mother, Rolanda Byrd, said she doesn’t feel her son has received justice. She said Twiddy murdered Akiel.
“I believe that this man stood over my son and murdered him,” Byrd said.
District Attorney Lorrin Freeman Freeman said Denkins was shot four times. Only one shot hit him from the rear, going from the back of the shoulder to the front. Freeman also said residue from the gunshot wounds on Denkins’ body indicates Denkins was shot at close range in a struggle.
“Officer Twiddy’s decision to use deadly force was a lawful response to the situation and deemed necessary to defend himself,” Freeman said in a statement.
Thus, she said, no criminal charges will be filed.
Irving Joyner, the legal counsel for the North Carolina NAACP, disagreed.
On Saturday, Freeman spoke to CBS North Carolina and reiterated her stance that Twiddy should not be charged.
“At this time, based on the evidence that has been presented to use through the investigation and through the medical examiner’s autopsy and pathological report, we stand by our decision that Officer Twiddy did not commit criminal offense in the tragic shooting of Mr. Denkins and he in fact acted in self-defense in doing so,” Freeman said.