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Family questions Durham police account of fatal officer-involved shooting

Posted March 31

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— Family and friends of a Durham man claim he did not have a gun when he was shot and killed by police while evading arrest last month.

According to the Durham Police Department’s “five-day report” on the incident, which was released Feb. 22, officers arrived at the home at 2512 Glenbrook Drive at about 2:15 p.m. on Feb. 15 to serve an arrest warrant on Kenneth Lee Bailey Jr., 24.

The report said four people were inside the house when Cpl. J.E. Lloyd, Officer T.M. Greathouse and Officer A.G. D'Meza knocked on the door. Bailey then ran out a side door and across the street, with the three officers in pursuit, the report states.

Bailey was in violation of pretrial release conditions as he awaited trial on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony conspiracy stemming from an August 2016 incident in which he allegedly pointed a gun at a man’s chest, police said.

A report released Friday on behalf of Bailey’s family by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove of Walltown Neighborhood Ministries acknowledged that Bailey had missed his 7 p.m. curfew on Feb. 14 and had failed to check in with his pretrial release supervisor.

The Neighborhood Ministries report also confirms that Bailey fled when police entered the home, which they said belonged to his cousin, but it contends that a frightened Bailey left through the side door in reaction to armed men entering the room.

According to the family report, which was compiled based on witness interviews and information from those who knew Bailey, community members stated that officers never issued any orders to Bailey or made attempts to de-escalate the situation.

According to police reports, one person told officers he heard three shots, and another person told officers he saw Bailey "throw a black gun back toward the street." A third person told police "the officers had asked the suspect to drop his weapon several times before the officers fired their weapons" and that he also heard three shots.

A .45-caliber handgun that was reported stolen in Durham in December was found near the body, the five-day report stated.

According to the family report, witnesses did report hearing three shots fired but, while one recalled seeing Bailey throw something on the ground, nobody reported seeing him point a gun at officers.

“After the first shot was fired, Kenny pleaded for his life as he fell to the ground, saying he was down,” the family report states. “The police fired their guns without regard for the fact that people lived in the homes surrounding them and Kenny.”

Family members said Bailey had a history of cooperating with police officers and that “policy failures” created the situation that led to his death.

Greathouse, D'Meza and Lloyd were placed on paid leave pending the outcome of a State Bureau of Investigation review of the case, which is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings.

The results of the SBI investigation have not yet been released.

6 Comments

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  • Janet Ghumri Apr 1, 1:26 p.m.
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    This family is grieving and it's understandable that they want to place blame for his death. However, this is a case of poor choices made by a young man who didn't want to be held responsible for his actions. He could have been adult about the warrant and gone peacefully, but his own choices led to this. This is the same man who was in a hotel overnight on Valentines Day, after saying that he had to take a family member to the hospital. The family should be trying to show others that taking responsibility for their actions is the best thing. The officers cannot be afraid to do their job, and be expected to risk their lives over serving a warrant.

  • Eric Rothman Apr 1, 6:26 a.m.
    user avatar

    I am also sorry anyone lost there life! But all these families are despicable! I am SO tired of these people blaming the police! Take some Responsibility for your actions! The rest of us should live in fear,terror, etc by all these criminals because gosh forbid a police office does his job!

  • Scott Phelps Mar 31, 10:23 p.m.
    user avatar

    looks like such an innocent individual. right.

  • Fred Neopolitano Mar 31, 9:55 p.m.
    user avatar

    This sounds to me like a criminal didn't want to get caught so he ran. He would be ok now, if the judge had not let him out of jail. It's the judge's fault.

  • Amy LaFluer Mar 31, 8:25 p.m.
    user avatar

    SMH..... everything is always someone else's fault...

  • Brenda Love Mar 31, 6:20 p.m.
    user avatar

    I'm sorry that he lost his life, but it doesn't sound like the police did anything wrong. They had no chance to de-escalate the situation as he took off running as soon as they got there!