Racial Justice Network calls for change following deadly officer-involved shooting in Marion

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:22 PM EDT
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MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Activists with the Racial Justice Network spoke out on the death of 29-year-old Prince Gurley Monday afternoon.

Gurley was fatally shot by a Marion Police Department earlier in the month.

Police say on May 5, officers approached Gurley after a dispute between two people. Body camera video shows Gurley lunged at an officer with a knife before officers fatally shot him.

The Racial Justice Network, an attorney representing Gurley’s family, and a mental health professional addressed concerns for the case during a press conference.

The group said that family members shared documents stating that Gurley had a history of mental health conditions.

RJN said officers should have handled the case differently and that he still would have been alive.

The Marion Police Department said that officers do go through de-escalation training; however, the president of RJN, Elder James Johnson said the biggest issue is the lack of training when it comes to a mental health situation.

Andrea Manigault, a Mental Health Nurse & Chapter President of Racial Justice Network, says more needs to be done when it comes to Police dealing with mental health.

“You cannot approach them the same way you would approach someone else who doesn’t have mental health challenges,” said Manigault. “At first they see you as a threat, and the more you escalate the more that threat becomes apparent to them.”

The spokesperson of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said that the case is still open and undergoing investigation.

No further details have been released at this time.

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