Angered by the way local officials are handling a deputy’s fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man at an apartment complex two-plus months ago, a small group of protesters marched around the county government building after being denied access to Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’ office on Friday.
“We were terribly disappointed that Mayor Harris would not speak with us, nor were we allowed to go up to his office on the 11th floor,” said Tori Black, a spokesman for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), Memphis Chapter.
“This is about getting justice for a Black man who was killed by police. We want police to be held legally accountable for their action.”
They wanted to deliver a petition signed by 327 people calling for several actions following the Aug. 16 fatal shooting of Antonio Jackson outside of the Robinhood Park Apartments in Orange Mound. A security officer told group members they could not enter because they had not been pre-approved.
Black said the organization is not deterred after being turned away.
“I plan on calling the county mayor’s office on Monday to request a meeting with him,” said Black. “Antonio Jackson’s family deserves answers. We all deserve answers.”
Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit were conducting an investigation at the complex at the time of shooting, according to a statement released soon after the fatal encounter.
As is routine now when local law enforcement is involved in such an incident, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to conduct an investigation.
“We are calling for more transparency in law enforcement and that the Multi-Agency Gang Unit be dissolved,” Black said. “We would like the name of the officer who shot Antonio released. We also want him fired and held legally accountable for the killing.”
The group also wants the release of body-camera footage.
An incident report by the TBI said the incident on Aug. 16 happened about noon in the 3700 block of Robin Park Circle as Shelby County deputies attempted to make contact with an individual in the driver’s seat of a vehicle.
“The preliminary investigation shows, as they approached, the driver accelerated toward an officer, striking him,” the report details. “That deputy fired his service weapon into the vehicle and injured the driver. Both were transported to area hospitals.”
The deputy suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was released after Treatment.
Jackson died at Regional One Hospital.