Raleigh mayor asks for calm in wake of police shooting

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Mayor Nancy McFarlane called for calm Tuesday in the wake of an officer-involved shooting that left a man dead.


"Yesterday lives were changed and we stand here, both present and past elected leaders of the community, to ask for calm, prayer and patience. Any loss of life, regardless of circumstance, is heartbreaking and we offer our sincere condolences to all of those involved. We understand the need and desire of the community for information to be able to make sense of yesterday's events. We are committed to ensuring information is shared as it becomes available. Please join us in calm, prayer and patience and please keep all of those involved in this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers," said McFarlane.

Just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the SBI sent out a news release officially identifying the dead man as Akiel Rakim Lakeith Denkins. Family members identified him to ABC11 Monday and Denkins' mother said at a news conference Monday morning she had not been officially notified of her son's death. The SBI said it spoke to her after the news conference.

Mayor McFarlane's statement came after the NC NAACP called for a transparent investigation of the death. Denkins was shot in southeast Raleigh close to Bragg Street and S. East Street around noon Monday when an officer tried to serve a warrant on a felony drug charge.


Former Raleigh City Council Member Eugene Weeks called for more frequent updates from police.

"As you wait on this investigation, in that five days, bullet points or something to the community on a daily basis to communicate what you're doing," he said. "You want updates on a regular basis, what's happening."

While Denkins' family has claimed he was unarmed, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck Brown told reporters soon after the shooting Monday that a gun was found near the body.

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber called Monday for truth and justice.

Barber said he was encouraged by a statement from Chief Deck Brown Monday saying the State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the case, but he said there are a lot of questions.

"Was he unarmed?" asked Barber. "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."


Speaking with ABC11 Tuesday, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman also asked for patience while the SBI does its independent investigation.

"We understand certainly that people have a right to know information and we want to make, you know, valid information available as quickly as possible," she explained. "We also want to take time. We want to look under every rock, you know, examine all the details ... We will take, you know, we will go wherever this investigation takes us but we need a thorough and detailed investigation to be done."

Attorney General Roy Cooper - who is also running for Governor - spoke about the shooting after a Council of State meeting Tuesday morning.

"This is a tragedy and I know that it is horrific for people in the community when someone loses a life. It is clear that investigators and prosecutors should look at this matter thoroughly - should investigate this matter thoroughly and take it where the facts lead them."

The officer who shot Denkins has been identified as senior officer 29-year-old D.C. Twiddy by the Raleigh Police Department. He's been placed on administrative leave, which is standard in officer-related shootings.

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