‘This is not who we are as a city,’ Raleigh police chief says of officer-involved shooting protests

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown addressed the media Wednesday morning following an officer-involved shooting on Tuesday evening and ensuing protests outside her home and in downtown Raleigh.

Javier Torres, 26, was shot by a Raleigh police officer around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 1000-block of N. Rogers Lane, just off New Bern Avenue, according to police.

“When officers arrived at the scene, they observed an individual who matched the description given by the 911 caller,” a police news release said.

As police arrived, the man ran and he was chased by police. During the chase, police ordered Torres to drop his gun, according to the news release.

“During the chase, [Torres] was shot one time by a responding officer,” the news release said.

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown (CBS 17)

Deck-Brown said that Torres ran towards another officer before he was shot by the responding officer. He was taken to WakeMed with a gunshot wound to his abdomen and he’s currently being treated there.

A firearm was located at the scene and a body-worn camera captured the entire incident, she said.

A large agitated crowd at the scene demanded answers from police following the shooting.

This is the same shopping center where Soheil Mojarrad was fatally shot by police last year on April 20.

Many people in a large crowd at the scene were very upset — already calling for answers from police about what happened. One person in the crowd spoke out about the shooting to CBS 17.

“We need immediate and swift transparency regarding this incident because the community has a right to know and needs to know what’s going on,” said Kerwin Pittman.

Some in the crowd at the scene later left, saying they were going to the home of Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown. By 10:30 p.m., throngs of people were in front of her home and multiple officers were standing in front of the chief’s house.

By about 11:30 p.m., a large crowd appeared in downtown Raleigh in the 300 block of Fayetteville Street.

The group then marched through downtown to the State Capitol building early Wednesday morning.

During the march, the group — with some carrying signs — chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” and blocked Salisbury Street at the State Capitol. Many police units were nearby during the demonstration.

In response to the protests, Deck-Brown said that “This is not who we are as a city. But it’s also important that individuals who have a desire to voice their concerns, there is a method by which they can do that without damaging people’s property, without harming other folks.”

Just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, the group marched along Blount Street and took the flag from the Governor’s Mansion. The U.S. flag was later burned in the street as protesters held a photo of Akiel Denkins. Denkins was shot and killed by a Raleigh police officer in February 2016.

Deck-Brown said a few assaults took place during the protests.

When asked if she had a problem with protesters showing up outside her home, Deck-Brown said yes.

“Of course I do. If I stood here and said anything differently I wouldn’t be true to myself…what happened tonight — last night — was wrong on a lot of levels.”

Deck-Brown also blamed “misinformation” for the resulting protests and said the media was partially responsible.

“To our media, you’ve gotta be partners to giving accurate and timely information and that’s not happening as it should,” she said.

Police officials said that they will seek to have the video of the incident released by a judge.

“As is standard protocol, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will conduct an investigation of the officer-involved shooting,” police said.

Officials have not said how seriously Torres was injured in the shooting. No officers suffered any injuries.

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