MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Families who lost their loved ones at the hands of police gathered Friday outside of 201 Poplar to call for justice for a 20-year-old who was shot by a Memphis Police officer.
Jaylin McKenzie was shot dead by a Memphis Police officer on December 16. One day later, The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced they were investigating.
According to the TBI, McKenzie and at least two other people were stopped by police in the area of American Way and tried to drive off, ending up on Cochese Avenue.
The three people jumped out of the car and ran in different directions, police allegedly following McKenzie to a side street where a shootout took place.
McKenzie, whose family says he was visiting Memphis from Atlanta for Christmas break, died in that incident.
Andrew Joseph, whose son died back in 2014, flew to Memphis Tampa, Florida, to call for justice for McKenzie.
“Here, we’re still at step one. We have a mother who is grieving the loss of her son with no answers. No police reports. No videotape,” Joseph said. “Right now, we need body footage of the night. There is body footage that does exist, we know it exists. We need to see what happened that night.”
McKenzie’s family says he was unarmed, and they are desperate for answers as to what really happened that night. They say in the last six months, they’ve heard nothing.
So advocates like Joseph and Veda Abusaleh, whose nephew Alton Sterling was killed in 2016 in Baton Rouge, are calling on the community to step up and demand change.
“It’s going to happen again and again and again until Memphis stands up,” Abusaleh said.
WREG reached out to MPD and is still waiting for a response. A Justice for Jaylin march is scheduled for Saturday at 1:45 p.m. at the Mt. Moriah precinct. Organizers plan to march to American Way Park, where a rally is planned.