Raleigh mayor: Peaceful response to shooting 'just who we are'
Posted March 7, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Mayor Nancy McFarlane deviated Monday from the usual recap of Raleigh's successes and priorities in her annual State of the City address to focus on the fatal shooting a week ago of a black man by a white police officer and the community's reaction to it.
Police said Akiel Denkins, 24, was struggling with Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy and was reaching for a gun when Twiddy shot him last Monday afternoon behind a house in southeast Raleigh. The shooting remains under investigation.
Following the shooting, there were some marches to protest the shooting that blocked downtown streets and a community meeting in which people demanded a thorough investigation, but McFarlane noted the riots and looting that followed similar police shootings elsewhere never occurred in Raleigh.
"Some of that speaks to just who we are," she said.
The mayor credited Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown for her efforts to build strong ties between her officers and the Raleigh community.
"We want the world to look at Raleigh and say we're different," McFarlane said. "We faced tragedy together. We worked together and found ways to bridge gaps, and we emerged a better community."
Listening to one another in the aftermath of the shooting, including the emotions behind the statements, will help focus efforts on how to make Raleigh more close-knit and improve the future for all residents, she said.
"When we're reciting our accolades, we want to know that we're doing all we can to make sure that every person and every child in Raleigh has the support system that they need to have the opportunity to be part of our success story," she said.