Sunday 23rd April 2017,

UPDATE: Family, friends of killed man protest grand jury decision

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WATERLOO, Iowa — Impassioned speeches and cries for justice punctuated a gathering of family and friends of Derrick Ambrose Jr. and members  of the black community in Waterloo on Thursday night. mobile casino for usa players

The meeting, which drew about 50 people, came in response to a grand jury’s decision against indicting a Waterloo police officer in Ambrose’s death. microgaming casino software download

The Black Hawk County Attorney’s Office said a secret grand jury recently concluded and decided against pursuing criminal charges against Officer Kyle Law in the shooting.

Law shot and killed Ambrose in November following a fight outside a nightclub where Ambrose waved a pistol and refused to drop the weapon.

Ambrose ran off, and Law thought he was about to be shot when Ambrose turned toward him during the chase, authorities said.

The gathering, dubbed a strategy meeting by organizers and held at the Masonic Temple, attracted some of the city’s most visible human rights activists who urged non-violent, intelligent action.

The Rev. Marvin Jenkins opened the meeting with a prayer and said of the grand jury’s decision, “God is the only one who can make things right. … He will have the final say so.

“Justice is being made a mockery,” he said. “We have to stand up and let our voices be heard.”

KBOL-FM radio founder Michael Muhammad’s emotion was apparent.

“I come too with a really heavy heart,” he said. “The decision is one by now we should be pretty accustomed to. … There is no justice for young black men and women.”

Muhammad said the community was “hoping for a Hail Mary, a glimmer for decency and responsibility” mobile blackjack real money usa

“His blood is soaking the earth of this community,” he said of Ambrose. “When you shoot a man in the back, that’s called a coward.”

But Muhammad pointed out that some of the behavior in the black community exacerbates the problem. lucky casino live roulette online

“As long as we have inappropriate behavior, we give them justification,” he said. “If we don’t get our act together, this is just the beginning.”

Muhammad said the Ambrose shooting was as big to him as what happened to Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teen who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer.

“(Derrick’s) death is to wake up the young people in the community, the elders, the so-called leadership.”

Muhammad urged people to use their phones to record things going on in the community, including what law enforcement is doing.

When you “deal with a devil … put the light of truth on him,” he said.

Muhammad closed his comments by saying, “If you are not ready to give your life for your people, you’re in the way.” best bonus gambling lines

The Rev. Belinda Creighton-Smith said she was devastated by the grand jury’s decision.

“We were counting on the system,” she said. “It failed us. It betrayed us. We have been raped.”

Creighton-Smith urged action that was “pleasing and acceptable to God.”

She invited first Toyia Ambrose, Derrick’s mother, and then Aneesha Forney, his girlfriend, to address the group.

Toyia Ambrose, who has remained virtually silent about her son’s death, read a prepared statement, calling what happened “the reckless and malicious murder of my son”.

“The tragic miscarriage of justice will not stand.”

Forney discounted the officer’s account of what happened.

“The story is all a lie,” she said.

“Why he was shot, I still don’t know.”

David Goodson applauded the young people for getting involved.

“This is the event that has already transformed (your) lives,” he said. “We have your backs.

“Young folks need to be marching, protesting … Never let this city sleep,” he said.

The Rev. Abraham Funchess, pastor of Jubilee United Methodist Church and executive director of the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights spoke briefly, saying typically the only way to challenge a grand jury is to come up with new evidence. He suggested a civil lawsuit might be an option.

In an attempt to increase the visibility of the case, community members have reached out to nationally known civil rights activists including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton. best casino casino online play

The group plans to hold an organizational meeting at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Masonic Temple, 325 E. Park Ave.

Earlier Thursday, Ambrose’s family and friends briefly protested outside the Black Hawk County Courthouse, carrying signs proclaiming “Nobody is safe” and “Shot in back of head, no justice for that!” Some wore red T-shirts bearing Ambrose’s likeness.

“Where is the justice in shooting somebody in the back of the head that is running away,” Toyia Ambrose asked. “We won’t give up.”

The city’s director of Safety Services, Daniel Trelka, was out of town Thursday but offered a prepared statement.

“No officer comes to work wanting to use deadly force. Fluid, dynamic, rapidly changing circumstances dictate our actions in these matters. In deadly force situations, our actions are reactive to the actions of others,” Trelka said.

Protesters said the failure to indict the officer sends the wrong message. miami paradise online casino

“If you are black in the city of Waterloo, you are in danger,” said Creighton-Smith. “Justice must be served, otherwise we are betraying our young people.” best casino internet payout

Prior to the strategy meeting, Michael Blackwell, the director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Northern Iowa and chairman of the Black Hawk County branch of the NAACP, said he was ambivalent about the grand jury’s decision.

“While I did not expect it, I wasn’t confident that they would seek an indictment,” he said. “It’s sad to hear and a little disappointing.

“There is not enough evidence to point to what exactly transpired prior to the fatal shooting … so it’s challenging to come to any conclusion about that or to refute the decision. All the things that happened are not known.

“There are other things important to consider such as Law decided to pursue Derrick Ambrose and did not activate his recorder. That is problematic. It is not an indictable offense, but it is not following protocol or strongly suggested protocol,” Blackwell said. “That conjures up bad feelings. When there is already tension between the black community and law enforcement, this does not help. It is very disappointing.”

Blackwell said he was aware a small group had gathered Thursday morning to protest the decision.

“Of course people have the right to dissent and express themselves. That is not a negative thing,” he said. “There are alternative methods of recourse, such as civil action. … Hopefully, people will work to improve relations with law enforcement.”

 

Earlier: Family, friends of Waterloo man shot by officer object to grand jury results


11 a.m. – WATERLOO, Iowa — Family and friends of Derrick Ambrose Jr. briefly met outside the Black Hawk County Courthouse this morning to protest a grand jury’s decision to not indict a Waterloo police officer in his death.

Carrying signs proclaiming “Nobody is safe” and “Shot in back of head, no justice for that!” about a dozen people, some wearing red T-shirts with Ambrose’s photo, stood outside for less than an hour before deciding to meet later for a strategy session.

This morning, the Black Hawk County Attorney’s Office announced a secret grand jury recently concluded and decided against pursuing criminal charges against Officer Kyle Law in the shooting.

Law shot and killed Ambrose in November following a fight outside a nightclub where Ambrose waved a pistol and refused to drop the weapon. Ambrose ran off, and Law thought he was about to be shot when Ambrose turned toward him during the chase, authorities said.

“Where is the justice in shooting somebody in the back of the head that is running away,” said Derrick Ambrose’s mother, Toyia Ambrose. “We won’t give up.” master card casino

Protesters said the failure to indict the officer sends the wrong message.

“If you are black in the city of Waterloo, you are in danger,” said Rev. Belinda Creighton-Smith. “Justice must be served, otherwise we are betraying our young people.”

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