OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Several dozen protestors marched for justice for Bennie Edwards, a man who was shot and killed by police on Friday.
Protestors made their way to the Hefner Police Station. They are demanding the mayor, city manager, and police chief to meet with Edwards’ family. They also want the body cam footage to be released.
“Every time I close my eyes, I see that [witness] video, and I just see my uncle scared, scared and confused,” Ameerah Gaines, Edwards’ niece said.
Edwards’ family was joined by the family of Stavian Rodriguez, the 15-year-old who was recently shot and killed by police.
Attendees say they hope more people will take action.
“Do something, but don’t do nothing. Because that is our duty, that is what we are supposed to do, as a community, and I am ashamed that there is not more people out here,” Gabriella McGee said.
Earlier in the day, a memorial for Edwards was held at the location where he was killed.
“Meanwhile they get to wake up to their family members every day. And they turned my uncle into a f****** hashtag,” Gaines said at the memorial.
“He was always a happy person. And this is tragic that this happened, and we’re going to get the justice he deserves,” Sincere Terry, who attended the memorial, said.
Police say Edwards was holding a knife and refusing to follow commands. They say they used less lethal force first, but Edwards refused to drop the knife and ran towards officers, leading them to shoot.
“He was maced. He don’t know where he was running. He couldn’t even see,” Yolanda Meekins, who organized the memorial, said.
Mayor David Holt made a post on Facebook addressing the structure of power in city government and a task force to address law enforcement policies.
He also wrote that government and non-profits should continue to invest in youth, mental health, and homelessness services. He asks people to “expand our thinking to consider a larger menu of solutions.”
You can read the full post here.
Protestors, however, say they don’t think the post is enough.