STATE BRIEFS, WEEK OF MARCH 10-16, 2016
POLICE REPORT SAYS DENKINS PULLED GUN
[RALEIGH] According to a report by Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown released last week, Akiel Denkins, 24, pulled a gun as Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy approached him during a confrontation on Bragg and East streets Feb. 29th. Twiddy, upon seeing Denkins on the corner in front of P.J.’s Grill & Groceries, began a foot pursuit after attempting to serve a felony drug arrest warrant.
Chief Deck-Brown’s report says Officer Twiddy caught up with Denkins behind P.J.’s, and a struggle ensued. Twiddy says he saw Denkins reaching for a handgun from his waistband. As Denkins began moving the gun towards Officer Twiddy, Twiddy pulled his service weapon, the report says, and fired several shots. Upon realizing that Denkins was also making contact with his service weapon, Officer Twiddy says he stepped back and fired several more shots, hitting Denkins. Twiddy indicates that Denkins still had a gun in his hand.
A preliminary autopsy shows that Denkins was struck four times, including once in the chest.
The police chief’s report differs sharply from eyewitness accounts that Denkins was chased, and then shot unarmed several times in the back by Officer Twiddy.
Akiel Denkins was laid to rest Friday during funeral services. The NC NAACP has asked that any other witnesses who saw what happened please come forward.
ATTY GEN LYNCH SAYS NO TO HIGH COURT NOMINATION
[WASHINGTON, DC] Despite rampant speculation that President Obama could nominate her to the US Supreme Court vacancy, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch now says take her name off of the list. A Justice Department spokesperson said Lynch was honored to be serving in her current capacity, and committed to doing so for the remainder of her term. The spokesperson added that Lynch felt being nominated would hinder her effectiveness as attorney general. Many supporters felt that she would be a good choice to fill the vacancy left upon the death of US Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
HILLARY CLINTON TO VISIT TWO TRIANGLE HIGH SCHOOLS
[RALEIGH] Former US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to hold campaign rallies at Hillside High School in Durham and Broughton High School in Raleigh later this afternoon (Thursday) after part of her swing through the state in preparation for next Tuesday’s North Carolina primaries. Clinton will rally at Hillside at 3:50 p.m., and then at Broughton High at 5:45 p.m. The doors will open two hours in advance for both events. Pres. Bill Clinton toured the state earlier this week speaking on behalf of his wife. At press time there was no word on any appearances by Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
STUDENT DEMONSTRATORS PRESSURE AG COOPER TO HELP FREE KALVIN SMITH
[RALEIGH] On Monday, student organizers from Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest University and Salem College gathered in front of the NC Dept. of Justice building with a banner signed by over 200 students, seeking to speak to state Attorney General Roy Cooper about the Kalvin Smith case. Smith, 44, is a black man supporters say was wrongfully convicted of a 1995 brutal beating at the Silk Plant Forest shop. Evidence shows that Smith was nowhere near the shop at the time of the assault, but in 1997 he was convicted and sentenced to 29 years in prison, 19 of which he has already served. Protestors want Cooper to join with Smith’s defense in asking the court to vacate the conviction and grant a new trial. The AG’s office has thus far refused to do so.