The Greenville Branch of the NAACP has released a statement on the March 19 fatal shooting of a man the Greenville County sheriff said charged at deputies with a knife, saying the “deputy-involved shooting is evidence of the need for a greater level of communication between local law enforcement agencies and families in our communities.”
The deadly shooting occurred on Third Avenue in the Poe Mill community. Sheriff Will Lewis said deputies responded to a disturbance involving a man armed with a knife. He said deputies were able to get other people out of the home and were trying to negotiate with the man when he charged at them and deputies opened fire.
The coroner identified the deceased as Jermaine Massey.
Massey’s family claims there is more to the story and feel that the 35-year-old should not have been fatally shot.
Activist Paul Guy said he and 14 other civil rights activists and organizations are spearheading a “Justice Intervention Initiative” and will look deeper into the shooting.
On Sunday, the Greenville NAACP released a statement offering their condolences to the Massey family and pledging to monitor the facts of the case as they continue to unfold.
The full statement is below:“The Greenville Branch of the NAACP extends our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Jermaine Massey, his wife, Tiffany Coleman, his children, and other family members.
Mr. Massey’s death in this Deputy-involved shooting poses many questions as to what occurred and how.
This recent fatal Greenville County Sheriff’s Deputy-involved shooting is evidence of the need for a greater level of communication between local law enforcement agencies and families in our communities. This tragedy has happened too often, especially in African American neighborhoods, regardless of fault, blame, or legal culpability. A fatal shooting is not only a minority issue but this tragedy is a countywide and nationwide issue.
The Greenville Branch of the NAACP, serving Greenville County, has been and continues, working with law enforcement agencies in the county for the last four years concerning community engagement, use of fatal force, and community policing, among other issues. The history of the handling and/or mishandling of shootings of unarmed African American males in this community and the State of South Carolina gives us great concern and always greater losses.
The Greenville Branch of the NAACP will continue to monitor the unfolding facts until an investigation is completed by the SC Law Enforcement Division to determine what additional action is needed. We are seeking clarity and access to the information related to this fatal shooting. If any citizen has additional information, please feel free to also share with the NAACP.”PREVIOUSLY -
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