Community outraged after teen shot to death during encounter with South Carolina police officer

Denzel Curnell, age 19
Denzel Curnell, age 19

Denzel Curnell, 19, had everything to live for. He had graduated high school and had completed U.S. Army basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. But when visiting family and friends on June 20 in Charleston, South Carolina he was shot in the head while detained by police. According to multiple witness accounts, Curnell was unarmed with his back turned when he was shot. The Charleston Police Department has stated that it was a suicide and a gun was found at the scene. The problem with this theory is Curnell was left handed and was shot on the right side of the head. Multiple witnesses claim they saw Curnell with his hands behind his back and they dispute the police version of events.

The police were so concerned about the circumstances of the shooting incident that an outside agency known as State Law Enforcement Division was called to respond to the scene. The SLED officials could not get to the scene for 3 hours and the Charleston Police Department was allowed to process the crime scene for forensic evidence. According to the Charleston Police Department, the officer, Jamal Medlin, did not even fire his weapon but there was evidence of a struggle. During this struggle the police contend that Curnell committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

The family and community are outraged at the results of the investigation and claim there is a police cover-up. The local chapter of the NAACP is now demanding answers. SLED had not given a full report on the evidence discovered nor details of even the officer or victim being tested for gunpowder residue. NAACP official, Dot Scott, said Thursday morning, “If indeed there’s nothing to hide, there should not be any obstruction in terms of letting out information … The community is here to say we want answers, and we want the truth.”

But even though there were witnesses to the event, the disturbing phenomenon of not talking to the police has gripped the community. “Nobody here is going to talk to the police,” stated one witness to local media.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Watch this video
What's new
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x