Lawyer: Autopsy indicates Denkins shot in the back
Posted March 12
Raleigh, N.C. — A lawyer for the family of Akiel Denkins— a man shot and killed by Raleigh police on Feb. 29—said Saturday that an autopsy by an independent forensic pathologist revealed the 24-year-old was shot in the back.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, along with lawyers for the family, discussed their findings concerning Denkins’ death at a press conference Saturday afternoon in Raleigh.
Denkins, who was shot by Raleigh police officer D.C. Twiddy, was hit four times, in the chest, left forearm, upper right arm and shoulder, according to a preliminary autopsy report released on March 3.
“What we can say, based on initial review by our forensic pathologist, is that there was a shot from the back to the front shoulder area,” said Scott Holmes, an attorney representing Denkins’ family. “There were other shots. The only reason it is appropriate from a legal point of view to share that now is because of the impression released by the state and the officer, and the prosecutor that have created an impression that there were shots from the front.”
A preliminary report from Raleigh police said Twiddy struggled with Denkins, and that Denkins was reaching for a gun when he was shot.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said last week that the initial findings by the state medical examiner are just one piece to the investigation.
A spokesperson with the Raleigh Police Department told WRAL News the department will not comment on the NAACP press conference.