Following an officer-involved shooting Tuesday evening, protests appeared across Raleigh that continued well into the night.
However, it appears some misinformation circulated social media prior to the protests. Originally, individuals posted about a teenage boy getting shot by police in the back. The source appears to be a video in which a woman who allegedly witnessed the shooting explained what she saw.
In her account, a teenage boy ran away from police carrying a pizza. She saw one officer pull their pistol out, reholster it, then shots rang out.
From there, news of the shooting spread throughout social media, amassing outrage. Eventually, people gathered at the site of the shooting demanding answers.
They also marched towards the home of Cassandra Deck-Brown’s residence, the police chief of Raleigh.
Additional protests took place at the Wake County courthouse on Fayetteville St, as well as capitol building in downtown. The protests remained peaceful, save one arrest for simple assault of a journalist, and property damage that occurred at Deck-Brown’s residence. Protesters removed a flag from the governor’s mansion and burned it.
Protests, Police Offer Divergent Accounts
While information on social media claimed police shot an unarmed man, Raleigh PD claim he carried a pistol. Javiar Torres, the 26-year-old shot by officers, allegedly fled on foot with a pistol in one hand and a pizza in the other. Police say he refused to drop the weapon after repeated commands to do so. In response, one officer in front of Torres shot him in his abdomen.
Torres was transported to a hospital. His condition remains unknown.
Deck-Brown says the involved officers wore activated bodycams that captured the shooting. Per standard procedure, an investigation will review the footage and report findings.
Police responded to a 911 call about a threatening man with a gun. Police report finding a gun at the scene. Deck-Brown believes the bodycam footage vindicates their actions.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation conducts the investigation. Meanwhile, the Raleigh-Apex NAACP announced it awaits the 5-day report to verify accountability.