LILLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Families of two dads killed in Harnett County gathered outside the sheriff’s office on Sunday demanding justice.
The circumstances surrounding both these incidents are different however the outcomes are the same, two men are dead while their killers remain free.
“This county has a history of brutality and it’s been covered up throughout the history of this county,” said Jerry Rivas, who lives in Harnett County.
23 year old Christian Griggs was shot to death in October of 2013.
Family members say Griggs was picking up his daughter from her grand-parents home in Angier when his father-in law, Rev. Pat Chisenhall shot the unarmed Army Specialist six times.
Chisenhall told police Griggs was trying to break into his home.
“At this point they haven’t done anything they said the case was closed and that’s pretty much it, self-defense, I couldn’t understand how self-defense would mean shooting someone in the back that poses no threat,” said Anthony Griggs, Christian Griggs Father.
Both families say the criminal justice system has failed them.
John Livingston’s loved ones were also present at Sunday’s demonstration.
Livingston was shot and killed by Harnett County Deputy Nicholas Kehagias in November of last year after Kehagias tried to enter his home without a warrant.
Court documents say Livingston grabbed Kehagais’ Taser after the two argued. Kehagias then shot Livingston multiple times.
Last month a grand jury decided there was not enough evidence to indict the deputy on murder charges.
“I was hoping what our district attorney would do is when they came with no second degree murder, at least he himself could have charged them and said hey we’re gonna charge him with voluntary manslaughter they have done nothing, in my opinion, they have let somebody that’s gonna hurt and kill again back on the force,” said Jesse Jones, Attorney for Livingston Family.
“My thoughts are that in Harnett County if you are black or if you are a white poor person, you do not have the same rights as other people, your rights are routinely violated,” said Jerry Rivas, who lives in Harnett County
Attorney’s representing the Livingston family are now pursuing civil suits against Kehagias, the Sheriff’s office and the district attorney.
The Griggs family hopes the SBI or another third party agency will come in to investigate their case.
“I miss him walking through the door and that big smile he has on his face when he comes through and that bear hug that he would give me when he came through the door,” said Dolly Griggs, Christian Griggs Mother
The group says this is one of several more joint demonstrations to come.