Fayetteville, N.C. — The FBI has joined the investigation into an off-duty deputy who shot and killed a Fayetteville man, an action that has sparked protests in the city over the weekend – including another one planned for Monday night.
The Fayetteville PACT, one of the community groups demanding answers, requested the FBI and the Justice Department look into the shooting of 37-year-old Jason Walker.
While the State Bureau of Investigations is leading the criminal investigations, FBI will determine if Walker’s civil rights were violated.
“The FBI, which governs civil rights and is a part of the Department of Justice, is doing an assessment of all that has occurred thus far — looking at evidence, looking at statements and body-worn camera,” said Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins.
City Council elected to call formally for the Department of Justice to come to Fayetteville and launch their own investigation and participate in the ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, protestors met for the second night straight on Monday. The Transit Authority was the focal point for protestors calling for justice for Walker. While Fayetteville City Council met on Monday night, the group pushed for city leaders to take more action in there, as well as go out in the street alongside them.
Alongside calls to arrest Hash, protestors called out City Council members — saying they should have joined in Sunday night’s march.
“All we asked you to do was to stand up, stand up for your community and let us know that you stand with us. But you chose to sit on your couch and watch Sunday Night Football,” said Myah Warren.
Part of the initial investigation into what led to the shooting centers around video shot by the husband of Elizabeth Ricks, who was the nurse on the ground trying to help Walker after he was shot.
The off-duty deputy accused of shooting him, Lt. Jeffery Hash, explained what happened to police, saying, “He ran across the street, so I stopped. He jumped on my car and started screaming. He broke off my windshield wiper and started beating the glass.”
However, there are those who say Hash hit Walker with his truck, then shot him in the back as he tried to walk away.
“We have individuals that have reached out to our organization, but I’m not allowed at this time to disclose their names,” said Chilleko Hurst, a community activist with Fayetteville PACT.
Hurst says those reported eyewitnesses are taking steps to take their accounts to the SBI.
In the meantime, Hash’s attorney laid out a possible defense strategy.
“I can state that this event would involve the defense of self-defense, defense of others, defense of vehicles which are clearly laid out in the General Statute of North Carolina,” said Parrish Daughtry, Hash’s attorney.
But, Monday night’s crows said they couldn’t understand why Hash wasn’t in custody.
“Who’s protecting the streets? Who’s protecting the community? Nobody. Y’all are just waiting for another Black life to be taken,” said Warren.
WRAL’s Gilbert Baez visited Walker’s home today and saw his mother – but she wasn’t ready to discuss her son’s death.
Hash is on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.