Local News

Vigils continue in Raleigh for victims of officer-involved shootings

Posted July 8, 2016 10:06 p.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2016 2:16 a.m. EDT

— Several groups held vigils in downtown Raleigh Friday for the victims of police-involved shootings.

Speakers at Moore Square shared concerns about the recent police shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana and Dallas, as well as the shooting death in February of Akiel Denkins in Raleigh.

The call for change was a common refrain at the rally for the victims of police violence.

Georgian Dukes, the mother of a 4-year-old, said she’s concerned that her son won’t have the same rights as others.

“I just have concerns that he’s not going to have to the same rights as my colleagues or some of my best friends who have children the same age,” Dukes said. “I feel like because of the color of his skin, he’s going to be judged.”

Lisa Jay, who also attended the vigil on Friday, said she’s worried about her unborn child.

“We know we’re having a daughter. We were talking about last night … It’s almost scarier to have a boy,” Jay said.

Jay’s husband, John Jay, said he would’ve had to alter the lessons he taught as a father if the couple had a son.

“We’re going to have to – if we have a son – teach him that he’s got to act differently than his father has to act in certain situations,” John Jay said.

Several community group leaders that spearheaded the rally brought people together from all corners of the Triangle.

“The only way to get trust back into the community is that we get accountability, transparency and prosecution of the officer killing our sons,” said Rolanda Byrd, the mother of Denkins.

The officer involved in the shooting death of Denkins in February was cleared of any wrongdoing.

One of the speakers Friday challenged everyone in attendance to get out of their comfort zones and meet people of different races, faiths and ethnic backgrounds.