A few dozen city residents, including family members of Derreck Mack, marched Thursday night to the home of Mayor Lorenzo Langford demanding an apology for the shooting death of the 18-year-old city man Monday afternoon.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the shooting of Mack by an Atlantic City police officer at Stanley Holmes Village. The office has said Mack did have a gun, but witnesses differ on whether Mack was surrendering to police or reaching for a weapon when he was shot.
Langford arrived to his home on Monroe Avenue and found the residents and at least half dozen police vehicles on the block. He addressed the residents, most notably Mack’s mother, Ruby Conde.
At first Langford said he would only speak to the family and away “from the cameras,” but he later discussed the situation in front of his home.
Langford said that pubic comments he made after the shooting were in support of Mack’s family as well as the officer. He said the city is not in charge of the investigation and he was not in a position to apologize for the shooting. He also said the investigation must be given a chance for completion.
But residents were angry that the city has not, in their minds, been accountable for what happened. Many of them said that Mack — who the county medical examiner said was shot in the back two times — should not have been shot. They have also said they doubt reports that Mack had a weapon.
After about 15 minutes of discussions with Conde, Langford could be heard saying, “I will do that” multiple times. Conde said afterward Langford was agreeing to speak with The Press of Atlantic City and offer an apology, but Langford twice declined an interview request.
When told Conde said he had agreed to issue an apology, the mayor looked straight ahead and did not address the questions.
Conde said she was devastated by not only her son’s death but the arrest of her
19–year-old son Raymond Mack, who was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer after he allegedly punched a uniformed police sergeant in the face after the shooting. He also faces charges of cocaine possession and intent to distribute in a school zone. Conde said she wished her son’s $100,000 bail was lowered.
“Can no one bring my baby back?” she said. “No one can ease my pain.”
Atlantic City resident Kadijah Middleton said she was disturbed that Langford would not apologize for the department.
“He doesn’t care,” she said. “He won’t be the mayor for very long.”
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