Ruby Conde and about 75 of her neighbors protested before Atlantic City’s Public Safety Building Tuesday night — one day after her 18-year-old son, Derreck Mack, was shot and killed by police.
“I want to bury my son, I want to know why my (other) son’s bail is so high" and why the officer who fired the fatal shot is still being paid to work, Conde said.
The 42-year-old was referring to the Atlantic City police pursuit Monday that resulted in Mack dying after being shot by police and his brother, Raymond Mack, 19, being jailed on $100,000 bail.
Immediately after the incident, authorities said Derrek Mack was armed. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has not detailed the weapon.
They also have not named the officer involved.
Anthony P. Saduk, director of the Cape May County Police Academy said he personally knows the officer, a trainer at the academy and someone who has shown exemplary character.
“In my opinion the officer that was involved is highly trained, motivated, compassionate and well-rounded individual. I know that the officer is very passionate about the job,” Saduk said.
Raymond Mack is charged with cocaine possession, intent to distribute in a school zone, and assault on an officer for punching a uniformed sergeant in the face Monday after his younger brother was shot and killed by another uniformed officer, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Derrek Mack was shot after he fled from police who encountered him and Terry Davis, 24, while investigating reports of armed men near Stanley Holmes Village.
Officers ordered Mack and Davis to drop their weapons.
Davis quickly complied and was arrested on weapons possession charges for carrying a loaded Kel Tech 9mm Luger handgun: unlawful possession, possession for an unlawful purpose, possession of a handgun after being convicted of a robbery and unlawful possession of ammunition.
He faces additional charges, including obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and refusal to comply with a lawful order because he tried to run at first, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
Mack, however, kept going and ultimately was shot and killed.
The family had plans to spend Christmas together in the Virginia town where Conde had relocated three days ago.
Moments after the shooting, Conde got a call from Mack’s girlfriend. She said Derrek had been shot by police. He was dead before Conde even got on the road to return to Atlantic City three days after she’d moved away from her hometown of 22 years “to get away from the violence.”
At the time of his death, Derreck Mack was on probation for illegal gun possession — a sentence handed down when he was 16. Derrek Mack also was arrested in July, just before his 18th birthday, in a weapons and theft case, and taken to the Atlantic County jail, records show. He was waived up to adult status, but bailed out in August on $50,000.
Both the Mack brothers occasionally had encounters with police in the past that didn’t result in arrests. Conde never imagined any violence or physical harm would result, however, because “everyone loved them.”
Conde spoke with a reporter on a bench outside the Public Safety Building Tuesday just after the hour-long protest concluded.
During the hour or so it went on, a dozen or so officers and squad cars blocked traffic on the Atlantic Avenue block in front of the Public Safety Building to prevent demonstrators from being hit by cars. More police before the front doors, with one officer filming as is protocol when police are doing crowd control, police Lt. Douglas Pierce said.
Upon Conde learning she’d be able to see her son’s body since an autopsy had been completed Tuesday afternoon, the crowd dispersed along with the police called in to contain them.
The Atlantic County Medical Examiner’s Office deferred comment to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, which did not provide results or other details when asked earlier Tuesday.
“Emotions are running high, which I understand, but yelling and screaming isn’t going to get it done,” Pierce said. “Let the investigation play out, let the autopsy come back and give you the answers.”
Ultimately, Pierce said, Conde seemed to understand that and was “cordial” to police.
As she left to make funeral arrangements, friends and neighbors arranged to post bail for Raymond Mack and Davis.
Those friends and neighbors have insisted Mack surrendered and put his hands in the air before being shot.
The Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately respond to questions about whether investigators have video surveillance of the incident. Representatives for the Atlantic City Housing Authority, which manages the site, said Tuesday it’s possible their cameras captured it, but aren’t sure.
The Press of Atlantic City has filed an Open Public Records Act request for the footage.
In the meantime, the candles, stuffed animals and balloons City Place and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard mark the spot where Mack was shot.
Although calm later, Conde was inconsolable Tuesday afternoon as she lay sobbing on the memorial. Friends and other relatives grew agitated that the media was present and yelling profanities and warnings at them. One woman started hitting a television cameraman, prompting him and his colleague to leave the scene.
Some of those residents later apologized to reporters, attributing their reaction to stress and intense emotions.
Those emotions will be there as the investigation runs its course. Outcome aside, everyone is hoping for the same thing, ultimately, Atlantic City resident Tyese Rollins said.
“We just want justice, and peace,” she said.
Audio of incident
The Twitter account @AtlanticCity911 released a 9 minute 12 second audio of the police scanner after Monday’s fatal shooting of a suspect by Atlantic City police..
In the audio, police discuss that a suspect was down and the events immediately after the incident that occurred just before 2 p.m. Highlights include:
* 4 minutes 30 seconds: police ask for yellow tape and crowd control.
* 6:10: an officer reports a suspect is in custody and a handgun is recovered.
* 7:16: a female officer is reported down and taken for treatment. (It was reported later by police that the officer only fell and did not have serious injuries.)
* 8:04: Officers report some people in the area may be coming to the scene with weapons to use against police. A dispatcher urges officers to use “extreme caution” at the scene.
No police officers or suspects are identified in the recording.
The audio can be heard here: http://f.cl.ly/items/2s162Q2Y3g3M140c0j0O/OfficerInvolvedShooting12-17-12.mp3
Staff Writers Lynda Cohen and Donna Weaver contributed to this report.
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