Raleigh Police Department chief asks for patience, prayers after shooting

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Officer-involved shooting
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An officer fatally shoots a man in Raleigh on Monday afternoon.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh police officer shot and killed a man with a long criminal history during a foot chase Monday.

It happened at Bragg Street and S. East Street in southeast Raleigh around noon close to a business called PJ's Grill and Groceries, when an officer tried to serve a warrant on a felony drug charge.

RELATED: Vigil held at site of police-involved shooting

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck Brown told reporters Monday afternoon that a gun was found near the man.

The chief asked for "prayers" and "patience" as the matter is investigated. She said she expects to have a written report on the initial findings ready for the city manager in the next five business days.

While police have not officially identified the dead man, shortly after the shooting, a woman on the scene told ABC11 that officers shot her son, 24-year-old Akiel Denkins, who was wanted on a warrant.

ABC11 found that Denkins has a lengthy criminal record, with more than a dozen arrests dating back 5 years. He's been arrested and charged with among other things, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, carrying a concealed firearm, and assault on a female.

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An officer-involved shooting took place Monday, February 29, 2016 at Bragg Street and S. East Street in southeast Raleigh.

Monday night, RPD identified senior officer 29-year-old D.C. Twiddy, as the officer involved in the shooting. He has been employed by the Raleigh Police Department since November 2009 and is assigned to the Field Operations Division.

In accordance with departmental policy, Officer Twiddy has been placed on administrative duty pending the completion of the investigation by the State Bureau Investigation.

Brown promised a thorough investigation which will "follow the available facts and evidence wherever they may lead."

Brown said the State Bureau of Investigation as well as Internal Affairs are working on the case. The findings will be presented to the Wake County District Attorney.

"This is a sad day, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved," Brown said.

On Monday evening, police said the SBI won't have an official positive identification of the dead man until Tuesday.

In a statement, the Wake County District Attorney, Lorrin Freeman, said they will release information as it becomes verified and available. Freeman asked for "people's patience as we work to ensure that this investigation is thorough and complete."

Shortly before 5 p.m., the crime tape was taken down and authorities began leaving the scene.

Rolanda Byrd, the mother of the dead man, said officers shot her son.

"He was running away," Byrd said. "They couldn't catch him so they shot at him seven times."

"Everybody seen it," said Byrd. "They ain't going down with this one. They ain't gonna get away with this one, there's at least 40 eyewitnesses out here."

Byrd said several people told her that her 24-year-old son was unarmed and was shot by a white officer.

As word of the shooting spread, a small group of demonstrators arrived at the scene and started chanting "Black lives matter."

The ACLU of North Carolina said in a statement, "Along with many community members in Raleigh, we are alarmed by these reports, trying to learn more details about what happened, and express our deepest condolences to Akiel's family. What we do know is that far too many people of color are victims of wrongful targeting and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers across the country, and North Carolina is not immune to that reality."

Raleigh's city council was supposed to hold a meeting on the use of body cameras on police officers Monday but the event was cancelled because of the shooting.

"This is obviously a sad, terrible situation," Mayor Nancy McFarlane told reporters. "We are all very saddened by the news."

Denkins was the father of two sons and turned 24 on Feb. 8.

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