The mother of an Atlantic City man killed by police in December will host a march today to honor him and “all the victims of gun violence.”
But, information in a recently released criminal complaint claims that her son was a part of that violent culture, along with the gang with which he allegedly associated.
Derreck Mack, 18, was killed Dec. 17, during a police chase sparked by reports that two men with guns were in Stanley Holmes Village. Terry Davis, 24, was arrested after dropping his gun. Witnesses have disagreed on whether Mack pulled a gun on the police officer or was surrendering when he was shot.
Mack’s mother, Ruby Conde, has denied her son had a gun at all, even though the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said one was recovered on his body at the scene.
Now, a federal complaint against 34 alleged members and associates of the Dirty Blok drug-trafficking ring made public last week reveals that Mack was under FBI surveillance at the time of the shooting, and it was federal agents who called in the report to Atlantic City police.
“Mack was observed carrying a handgun, which he concealed in the waistband of his pants, under a sweatshirt,” an FBI agent writes on page 149 of the 225-page criminal complaint. “Surveillance units notified ACPD patrol units of Mack’s location and physical description.”
According to the complaint, Mack and Davis — who is among those federally charged with heroin distribution — had just left a house on the 200 block of Rosemont Place, which was allegedly being used as a “trap house” to store and distribute drugs.
The case agents recorded Mack in possession of the gun, and were interviewed by Prosecutor’s Office detectives as part of the investigation, the complaint says. They also turned over pertinent video evidence from their case to those detectives.
When contacted about the information shortly after it was released, Conde said she would have nothing to say about it.
“I’m going to have a march for him on Easter Sunday,” she said in a text message to a Press of Atlantic City reporter. “For him (and) all the victims of gun violence.”
The march will begin at 2:30 p.m. near the spot where Mack was killed on the 1600 block of City Place. Another teen was shot there March 23, and remains hospitalized.
Authorities say Stanley Holmes is already safer, now that Dirty Blok has been crippled by the arrests. The alleged gang is said to have ruled Stanley Holmes and surrounding housing projects through fear and intimidation.
Residents were prisoners, Police Chief Ernest Jubilee said the day after the arrests, and now they are free to go outside.
In the days following the shooting, several marches calling for the officer’s name to be released and charges to be filed were held. Activist Marte King said that witnesses he spoke with claimed either Mack was trying to surrender or that he had no gun.
But a YouTube video made at the time captures one man saying that Mack had a gun, and turned it on the officer.
“He was running with the gun,” the man is heard saying at about 56 seconds. “But when he stopped running, he turned around like toward the cop.”
“(Expletive) had a pistol?” another man is heard asking.
“Hell, yeah,” is the reply.
When asked if he was shooting at police, the man — who briefly comes into view — says, “He didn’t shoot, he like turned around like that, he had a gun (unintelligible).”
The man then runs across the street toward the shooting scene.
The YouTube user who posted the video, who calls himself Bird Man, did not return emails requesting an interview.
Mack’s brother Raymond Mack, 19, was also arrested that day, and is now charged in the Dirty Blok ring.
According to the complaint, Mack also admitted to possession of a gun found Dec. 26 in Ecstasy Blackwell’s Massachusetts Avenue home, where he and Conde were staying following the fatal shooting.
The loaded semiautomatic Glock 23 belonged to a Northfield police officer and was reported stolen in a burglary of his Egg Harbor Township home.
At the time the gun was found, Blackwell claimed police planted it there because Mack’s relatives were staying with her. Authorities dismissed that claim — as do apparent discussions intercepted by federal agents.
“Based upon intercepted communications after the search, it is believed that Mack claimed ownership of the stolen handgun,” the complaint states.
No charges have been announced in that case.
Contact Lynda Cohen:
Follow Lynda Cohen on Twitter @LyndaCohen