Members of the Fayetteville, North Carolina community gathered for protests over the weekend after an off-duty police officer shot and killed a Black man who, according to an eye witness, was “just walking home.”
On Saturday (January 8), Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Hash shot and killed 37-year-old Jason Walker as he walked along Bingham Drive.
Initial reports made by police claimed Walker ran into traffic and jumped on Hash’s vehicle, but the community nor Walker’s family is buying that narrative, as questions mount in yet another police-involved killing.
According to the local ABC News affiliate, the on-board computer in Hash’s truck did not pick register any collision with “any person or object.” Investigators also noted that Hash’s windshield wiper had been torn off and the metal end had been used to break the windshield in multiple places.
Elizabeth Ricks, one of the eyewitnesses to the fatal incident told the Fayetteville Observer she saw Walker get hit by the truck before the driver got out and shot Walker in the back four times. Ricks attempted to render aid to Walker after the shooting, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, just feet away from his nearby home.
Ricks’ partner, Chase Sorrell, recorded the aftermath of the incident while others also attempted to save Walker’s life. Graphic video shows Walker laying near the back wheels of a red pickup truck while Hash is on the phone.
This is the second shooting of an unarmed Black man in the area within a week. When Walker was killed, mourners and protesters had gathered at the site where Stephen Addison was gunned down by a white man in an apparent road rage incident.
“I wish we weren’t here right now,” Shaun McMillan, founder of the Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce said during a march on Sunday (January 9).
“We should have a government, a police force responsible enough to make an arrest when they’re supposed to. We should have a citizenry that respects life enough not to shoot an unarmed pedestrian.”
Police Chief Gina Hawkins announced the State Bureau of Investigation is handling the Walker shooting investigation. Authorities arrested a man, Roger Nobles, in connection to the shooting death of Addison.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.