RALEIGH – The Raleigh Police Department has confirmed an officer-involved shooting near downtown Raleigh today. Reports from the scene say shooting was fatal and the victim is Akiel Denkins, a 24-year-old African American man. The shooting occurred on the same day that the Raleigh City Council was scheduled to discuss the issue of police officer worn body cameras, which the Raleigh Police Department does not yet have, but the item was removed from today’s agenda after the shooting.

“Along with many community members in Raleigh, we are alarmed by these reports, trying to learn more details about what happened, and express our deepest condolences to Akiel’s family,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “What we do know is that far too many people of color are victims of wrongful targeting and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers across the country, and North Carolina is not immune to that reality. The public and the victim’s family deserve answers about today’s shooting, and we urge the State Bureau of Investigation and Raleigh Police Department to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation. On a day when the Raleigh City Council was scheduled to discuss officer worn body cameras, this shooting points to the urgent need for North Carolina’s second-largest city’s police department to adopt this crucial technology and an accompanying policy that guarantees it will be used to promote officer accountability and transparency.”