MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Mother of man shot by police addresses crowd at press conference

The Williams family is now calling on Asheville Police to open dialogue with the African-American community about other police shooting deaths they want re-investigated (Photo credit: WLOS)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The mother of a man shot and killed by police over the weekend addressed a crowd of supporters at a news conference Wednesday.

Jai Williams, 35, was shot and killed by Sgt. Tyler Radford on Saturday, July 2, 2016.

The Williams family is now calling on Asheville Police to open dialogue with the African-American community about other police shooting deaths they want re-investigated.

Among the more than 50 attendees in the crowd, representatives from Black Lives Matter, We Are Not Invisible and Save Our Children of Charlotte gathered in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse.

Williams' mother, Najiyyah Avery, was in the front row grieving the death of her son.

"They told me that I couldn't see him," Avery recalled. "They didn't know how he'd look. The last time I saw him they didn't think the way I would see him would be the last image of my baby."

RELATED| One dead in officer-involved shooting Saturday at Deaverview Apartments

Police say he displayed an AR-15 rifle, causing Radford to fire.

Avery in a statement said her son would have never pointed a gun at a cop.

The Williams family is now working with a national civil rights activist, who is critical of how the shooting was handled.

The Fraternal Order of Police has set Radford up with an attorney going forward.

Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper spoke with News 13 about the investigation, and with the Racial Justice Coalition.

RELATED | Raw Interview: Chief Tammy Hooper speaks after officer-involved shooting

"We have completely relinquished control of all of this investigation to the SBI," Hooper said. "Having a third party agency to do this investigation ensures that it's done objectively."

After the investigation, which may takes several months to complete, the SBI will submit its case to the district attorney.

RELATED | Local organizations come together for community prayer vigil

A prayer vigil organized by the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Baptist Ministers' Union and the Stop the Violence Coalition of Asheville and Buncombe County, was held at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Eagle Street.

The Stop the Violence Coalition says it will not make a statement in reference to the shooting, but will be praying for the families affected, the officer, the police department and the entire community of Asheville.

Supporters and family told News 13 they plan to host a justice rally Thursday night.

Trending