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Upheaval in the United States after the death of a black man shot dead by a white police officer

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“As the truth has been revealed” for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, or even Breonna Taylor, “the truth will be revealed for Jason Walker”, said lawyer Ben Crump, in reference to other African-American victims of these last two years, killed by white policemen or former policemen.

The death of a black man, Jason Walker, shot by a white police officer in confused circumstances is causing a stir in Fayetteville, in the southeastern United States, where the victim’s relatives and residents gathered on Thursday evening . The famous lawyer Ben Crump, who has defended numerous victims of police violence, and the family of Jason Walker organized a “rally for justice” at 8 p.m. (01 a.m. GMT) in this North Carolina city. Fist raised, the lawyer repeated twenty times “Jason Walker matters” (“Jason Walker counts”) in a church in Fayetteville, whose audience powerfully took up the anthem, according to images broadcast live by the channel. local WRAL.

Several events since

“As the truth has been revealed” for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, or Breonna Taylor, “the truth will be revealed for Jason Walker”, said Ben Crump, in reference to other African-American victims over the past two years, killed by police or ex-police. “I pray for peace,” Jason Walker’s mother told the church crowd. Small groups of residents have already marched several times this week in this city of more than 200,000 inhabitants to demand the arrest of police officer Jeffrey Hash in this case.

Saturday afternoon, the policeman, employed since 2005 by the city, was not on duty. He was driving in his vehicle with his wife and daughter when he passed Jason Walker, an unarmed 37-year-old man crossing the street near his parents’ house. Moments later, he opened fire on Jason Walker who quickly succumbed to his injuries.

“I saw him brake suddenly, stop and start again”

What happened in the meantime is the subject of different versions. In an amateur video, filmed just after the tragedy and posted online, the policeman explains to colleagues called on the spot that Jason Walker threw himself in the middle of the street and that he braked to avoid him. According to him, the 30-year-old then jumped on his vehicle, ripped off his windshield wiper and used it to hit the windshield, forcing him to draw his weapon to protect his family.

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But witnesses assure that he hit the pedestrian before stopping. “I saw him brake suddenly, stop and start again,” said Elizabeth Ricks on the ABC channel. “I saw him hit Jason (…) and his body landed on the windshield. And then I heard shots. I believe he fired the first shot through the windshield and three more times outside the vehicle,” she added.

The agent placed on leave

According to the police, the black box of Jeffrey Hash’s pickup did not register a shock and Jason Walker’s body had no traces of impact, other than that of the bullets. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, but not arrested or charged at this stage. The investigations were entrusted to state investigators.

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“We have reason to believe this is a ‘shoot first, then ask questions’ style case, a philosophy you see too often among law enforcement.” , Ben Crump said in a statement. American police officers kill an average of a thousand people a year, with an overrepresentation of African Americans among their victims. They are rarely prosecuted, however, even though the major anti-racism protests in the summer of 2020 have started a change in the courts.

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