85ºF

Danville residents express frustration in wake of deadly officer-involved shooting

Around 50 residents rallied outside Danville Police Department Monday evening

DANVILLE, Va. – Danville residents expressed their frustration Monday evening in the wake of a deadly officer-involved shooting over the weekend.

Around 50 residents rallied in front of the Danville Police Department.

Chanting and holding signs that included messages and pictures of the 25-year-old shot and killed by police Sunday, 50 or so Danville residents made their voices heard.

"We can't keep running to the police. You see they're no help. It's time for us to take our streets back, take our children back," Kawnisha Hairston shouted as she addressed the group.

Hairston gave an impassioned speech.

"It's time for us to take our streets back. There's too many of us losing our black men to the streets, to these prisons, to this society. It's time for us to take our children back, because they mean more to us than anything. It's time for us to pray, it's time for us to let each and every one of us know that there is love out here. It's time for us to come together as a community," Hairston said after the rally.

Juan Jones, 25, was shot around 1:30 a.m. Sunday  on Sunset Drive as police were trying to arrest him for allegedly assaulting a woman.

According to the police department, officers used a Taser first, but it didn't hit him.

They say he then made a threatening movement and was shot.

"If the officers are found to have committed wrongdoing, they will be held accountable," Danville Police Chief Scott Booth could be heard saying as he addressed the group shortly after it arrived at the police department.

"It didn't help (at all)," Hairston said about Booth's address. "At the end of the day, we know what he stands for. He has to stand by his officers, right or wrong. We know this. We're not stupid. It's time for them to stop making us think that they have our back when we know that they really don't."

Booth tried to reassure the group that the department will be as transparent as possible about the shooting and he asked everyone to not make any assumptions before state police finish their investigation of the shooting.

"I'm always open for you. Whatever you need, I'm here," Booth said. "Just allow this investigation to work its course. Don't always assume the worst."

He did not speak to media after rally.


About the Author: