A police officer shot and killed Darius Wimberly in the awe hours of Tuesday while attending to a 911 call.
Yet the death of another Black man has been recorded in the bloody books of the law enforcement. An officer shot Darius Wimberly in Benton Harbor, Mich while responding to a 911 call. Though the officers were wearing body cameras, the footage of the incidence have not been released yet. Read the story unfold as narrated by the following authentic sources.
Officers responding to a 911 call shot and killed a man early Tuesday morning in Benton Harbor, Mich.
The South Bend Tribune reports that four officers arrived at a house at 2:17 a.m. after receiving a report that someone was being held at gunpoint inside. Three of the officers approached the house, and one stayed back to provide cover.
Benton Harbor Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis told the Tribune that residents at the home told police that no one there had called 911, and upon investigating, the police found no one being held at gunpoint. While officers were speaking with a female resident of the house, four or five shots rang out from some bushes about 20 yards south of the house.
— WNDU (@WNDU) October 18, 2016
While the officers and the female resident ran for shelter, the officer who had been providing cover opened fire with a high-powered rifle from behind a tree. The gunman fired two more shots, and the officer again returned fire, this time killing the man.
Police have not released the man’s name, but friends and family told the Tribune that the suspect was 28-year-old Darius Wimberly. He was taken to Lakeland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police found two semi-automatic handguns on the suspect, one of which had spent its entire magazine of seven rounds.
Three of the four officers were wearing body cameras, McGinnis said, and the cameras reportedly support the officers’ accounts of what happened.
Footage from the cameras will be released to the public after Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic reviews the case, a process that could take several weeks.
The officer who did the shooting has not been named, but McGinnis said that he has been on the force for less than a year and is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The Michigan State Police will be handling the investigation. Read more.
— Sarah Hurwitz (@sehurwitz) October 19, 2016
SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE
“At this point, we don’t think it was an ambush,” said Benton Harbor Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis. “It’s clear there was an intention to harm somebody at that residence, but we cannot say he was shooting purposefully at officers.”
By late morning, at least three dozen people lingered along Pavone Street near the shooting scene. Many of them expressed frustration and beliefs that an innocent black man had been gunned down, though at least one resident offered comments that seemed to support the police version of the incident.
Two residents at the scene identified the man as Darius Wimberly, including Alice Smith, a close friend who described herself as Wimberly’s “god sister.” Most people said the man was known by the nickname “Karate” because he practiced Tae Kwon Do.
Antwon Johnson identified himself as the man’s brother, saying he was kindhearted and often spent time teaching neighborhood kids martial arts. Johnson, who would identify his brother only as Karate, said the killing added to mistrust of police among the black community.
“The sad thing is, we’re afraid of those who are paid to protect and serve,” Johnson said. “No one should wake up and be scared of the police.”
The 2003 riots were concentrated at Pavone and Empire Avenue — less than a block from the scene of Tuesday’s fatal shooting.
“We hope we don’t have any issues. We understand people will be hot, we understand people will have their opinions,” McGinnis said. “I think we can agree to disagree peacefully. That’s why we think it’s important to get the facts out.”
In a press conference later Tuesday that was streamed online by area television stations, Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad said city officials had met with family of the man who was killed, in an effort to answer questions and ease tensions.
Though some neighborhood residents angrily questioned the man’s shooting, they said they planned to protest peacefully and did not expect violence. Read more.
The police-involved killing of Darrius Wimberly is creating tension in Benton Harbor. Tuesday, unanswered… https://t.co/0IVXbktQdB
— Kasey Chronis (@KChronisWNDU) October 19, 2016
BENTON HARBOR, MICH. – Benton Harbor mayor Marcus Muhammad says the family of the man shot and killed by a police officer early Tuesday wants everyone to remain peaceful.
But, however, he understands there is anger in the community.
City and area clergy leaders Tuesday, Oct. 18, have been in the neighborhood of Pavone Street and Empire Avenue for most of the day and will continue so later tonight. This comes after a 28-year-old man, who family identify as Darius Wimberly, was killed by a Benton Harbor. Read more.
Wimberly, 28 was known by friends and family as “Karate,” due to his interest in martial arts.
Friends say they don’t want Wimberly remembered by the violent way he died.
“He was a kind, generous person. At the time when I first met him he was in high school,” friend Canvas Smith said.
Others describe similar attributes.
“The kids loved him. You’re talking about a guy that would teach every kid out here karate moves for free,” Antwon Johnson, Wimberly’s brother said. Read more.
Wimberly Trakeina, sister of the deceased shared with BM,”Well from what I know about my cousin is that police was called to a home because it was said that a man was holding another man at gun point and when police arrived they went in the home and seen nothing so as they was leaving they said Darius fired shots at them from the bushes and they took cover also helped cover a woman also then fired back striking him which killed him and he was on a bike when he was killed with gun in hand as police say plus they say he had another gun on him also.”
Benton Habor is already known to have recorded cases of police shooting which has resulted in tension between the law enforcement and the community. In the meantime, the story of the officers does not seem to add up. Police officers always act aggressively towards Black people. Police brutality is gradually gaining grounds in our society and we must stand against it now.