Demonstrators for Jason Walker silent protest at Cumberland County commissioners meeting




  • In US
  • 2022-01-19 10:01:24Z
  • By The Fayetteville Observer

Ten days after the shooting death of a Fayetteville man by an off-duty officer, demonstrators brought calls for justice to a Cumberland County Board of Commissioners meeting.

About 15 people gathered in front of the Cumberland County Courthouse Tuesday evening to continue to call attention to the death of Jason Walker, a 37-year-old Black man who was killed on Jan. 8.

Walker was shot by Jeffrey Hash, a lieutenant with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, just a few feet from his home on Bingham Drive. Hash was off-duty at the time.

Related reporting: Demonstrators at MLK park in Fayetteville honor King, call for justice for Jason Walker

Though smaller in number than previous gatherings, demonstrators on Tuesday stood outside the courthouse to discuss next steps to bring more attention to Walker's case and keep the momentum in the calls for transparency and accountability from local law enforcement.

About 15 people continued protests for Jason Walker at the Cumberland County Commissioners meeting Tuesday night in the County Courthouse on Dick Street in Fayetteville.
About 15 people continued protests for Jason Walker at the Cumberland County Commissioners meeting Tuesday night in the County Courthouse on Dick Street in Fayetteville.  

Shaun McMillan, co-founder of local group Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce, suggested some people in the group go inside the courthouse, where county commissioners were having their meeting.

Silently, about 10 demonstrators walked into the meeting and stood along the left wall of the chambers, holding signs reading "Justice for Jason Walker."

About five people remained outside near the commissioners' meeting room continuing loud chants of Walker's name and calling for justice. The calls could be heard in the room where the commissioners were meeting.

At one point during discussion of a zoning issue, Commissioner Jimmy Keefe was asking a question when he stopped.

"What is that noise?" he said.

Commissioners' Chairman Glenn Adams responded.

"I think they are marching," he said.

"Is it coming from in here?" Keefe asked.

"Outside," Adams said.

The meeting continued without further interruption despite the chants.

Jason Walker shooting: Witnesses in body cam interviews, including Jason Walker's father, say he jumped on truck

Commissioner Charles Evans, who attended one of the earlier demonstrations, stepped out of the meeting briefly to speak to a resident who was there for a zoning issue. When asked about the situation at the meeting, Evans said he welcomed the protests.

"This is America. I think that anytime somebody is unsatisfied with something and want to protest about it, it's their given right to do it," Evans said. "Sometimes that's the best way to do something."

Evans said he has learned that peaceful protesting has "always been a plus."

"I encourage it, I encourage them to be peaceful, and I am totally in (agreement) with accepting them," he said.

Earlier, Kathy Greggs, also a co-founder of the Fayetteville Police Accountability Task Force, spoke to county commissioners during the public comment portion of their meeting. She said the county needs a citizens' review board for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

The organization has long sought such a board for the Fayetteville Police Department.

Greggs also asked for a binding resolution related to shootings involving off-duty law enforcement officers. She did not provide details of what such a resolution might include.

"We've just got to do something," she said. "We're asking you to do something."

Investigative Reporter Kristen Johnson can be reached at kjohnson1@gannett.com.

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This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Jason Walker demonstrators silent protest at commissioners meeting

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