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Mother of Akiel Denkins calls for body cameras, police accountability

Posted October 4, 2016

— Eight months after the police-involved shooting death of her son, the mother of Akiel Denkins went before the Raleigh City Council once again Tuesday night.

“No justice, no peace” has become the rally cry of those who say they want change in how minority communities are policed.

Raleigh’s Police Accountability Community Task Force, or PACT, stood collectively before the City Council Tuesday night, expressing disappointment in city leadership and policing. Leading the presentation was Rolanda Byrd, the mother of Denkins who was shot and killed by a Raleigh police officer in February.

“I feel like those cameras should have been in place,” she said. “It only took three months for Charlotte to do it and the whole department is fitted with cameras.”

Specifically, PACT asked for the support of a community oversight board, {{a href="story-7'}}changes in marijuana infractions{{/a}} and body camera policies developed with community involvement.

Mayor Nancy McFarland said inroads have been made to create change.

“Providing implicit biased training to officers, that is scheduled to begin in mid-October. We’re also conducting a body worn pilot program that is also scheduled to begin in Mid-October,” McFarland said.

During PACT’s presentation, the organization rolled a video clip showing an officer breaking the window of a car and pulling a man out.

A spokesman from the Raleigh Police Department said the incident was the result of a number of violations by the man in the car and the officer’s actions were justified. PACT disagreed with that stance.

McFarland also said there would be two community wide meetings to move forward on the discussions held Tuesday night and city leaders will decide in the near future exactly when and where the meetings will be held.


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  • Roy Delbert Oct 5, 2016
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    How about the NAACP and other like organizations challenge mother of Akiel Denkins to become a mother to teach their children right from wrong. How to become productive members of the public. Being a parent is the one of the toughest jobs around. Its easy to let the street raise them to become a menace to the community. Don't blame no one but yourself when you get arrested. Take responsibility for your actions and consequences that follow, and quit blaming everyone else for your failures in life.

  • Stacie Hagwood Oct 5, 2016
    user avatar

    As a former cop married to a cop, I fully support body cameras. I also know that poor police decisions endanger all police officers. I also know that all the cameras in the world would not have prevented this CRIMINAL from doing what he did and causing HIS OWN death. He is just as responsible for his actions as the officers are of theirs. And maybe if mama had instilled a sense of personal responsibility in her son, we wouldn't be having this conversation. And all of this does not mean that improvements in the relationships between police and minority communities cannot and should not be worked toward.

  • Dennis Midkiff Oct 5, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Yes. Then the other side would see what's its like to be a law-abiding citizen, and I would see what it's like to be an entitled hoodlum

  • Edward Anderson Oct 5, 2016
    user avatar

    If everything is recorded and it's all made public wouldn't be police be able to justify their actions and wouldn't that cause fewer black complainants to say they were innocently accosted? I am pro-police and also very much pro-body cameras. Let the truth come out regardless of who did what, but ALL original copies of all recordings must be kept in a highly secure location/format so that they can't be tampered with. If everything is public, nobody can hide.

  • Pat Queen Oct 5, 2016
    user avatar

    Too bad each side can't walk a mile in the other's shoes. It would be very enlightening.

  • Jim Frei Oct 5, 2016
    user avatar

    Maybe young black men could assume some accountability for their actions?

  • Carol Smith Oct 5, 2016
    user avatar

    denkins was a felon.

  • Dennis Midkiff Oct 5, 2016
    user avatar

    Umm...he had a gun then grabbed the officer's gun...justice was indeed served. #policelivesmattertoo