Group continues to call for change after deadly police shooting
Vernell Bing Jr., 22, shot, killed by JSO officer after police chase
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of Kemetic Empire led a community rally Wednesday evening demanding justice after the shooting death of a 22-year-old man by a Jacksonville officer last month.
News4Jax was told Vernell Bing Jr.'s mother, Shirley McDaniel, would be attending the rally at the site where her son suffered a fatal gunshot wound, but neither she nor her lawyer were there.
However, Diallo Sekou of Kemetic Empire read a statement on behalf of the family and the team of attorneys representing Bing.
"The Black Lawyers of Justice states that 'We are still in the process completing a thorough legal investigation into the murder of Vernell Bing Jr. But what we have uncovered thus far verifies that Vernell Bing Jr. was killed without legal justification or cause by Officer (Tyler) Landreville on May 22. The officer and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office must be held accountable for their actions. We will speak publicly on our findings on June 23. We allow his parents to grieve at this time,'" Sekou said Wednesday.
Sekou, the spokesperson for Bing's team of attorneys, said they feel the officer committed an unjustifiable homicide.
Bing was shot once in the side of the head after leading officers on a 3.7-mile, high-speed chase that ended when it appeared he intentionally drove into an officer's cruiser on a Springfield street, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
JSO Chief Chris Butler said Bing was in a red Chevrolet Camaro wanted in connection with an April shootout that was spotted in Northwest Jacksonville.
After the collision, the Camaro's metrics showed it was going 53 mph and not braking when it struck Officer Tyler Landreville's oncoming cruiser on 9th Street.
The police cruiser was disabled, and Bing's car left the road and struck a building. Butler said Landreville got out of his car and walked toward the Camaro without pulling his weapon. He ordered the man, who was out of his car, to surrender, and something caused Landreville to pull his gun and fire five times, hitting Bing once in the head, Butler said.
Bing, who was unarmed at the time, died the next day at UF Health.
Several community and civil rights groups have joined Bing's family to ask for an independent investigation into why Landreville fired his weapon.
“We are looking for the immediate arrest of this officer. And so we have plans of flooding the State Attorney to get her to do her job, get this guy off the street. He's at home with his feet kicked up while you have a community that's grieving, outcrying. You have entire families that are in pain, and you have us that are backing them,” Sekou said. “We're drawing a line. We're tired of it. This is it. We won't go unheard. We will get justice. That's it.”
Citizens are anxiously awaiting both the outcome of the criminal investigation by the State Attorney’s Office and the internal investigation by JSO, a process that typically takes months.
"The legal system in Jacksonville has failed the black community and you have to understand the black community has been targeted," said James Evan Muhammad of Black Educators for Justice and Unity.
Bing's visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Funerals by TS Warden at 4315 N. Main St. His funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at First New Zion Baptist Church at 4835 Soutel Drive.
In the meantime, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is making three major recommendations to elected public officials:
- They are requesting a citizens advisory board be created.
- They are asking the city to commit to funding body cameras for all police officers.
- They want all questionable shootings involving JSO to be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and not the agency itself.
Bing's mother: 'It’s a war out here'
Bing's mother, Shirley McDaniel, said her son had a criminal past, but he's not to blame for the deadly incident.
“They’re going at each other, because it’s a war out here. And the leader of that war is JSO, right in this city, it is,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said her son had paid for the crimes he committed. She said the bigger question is: How did he get to that point?
“Everything that our kids got in the community, as far as drugs or anything, y’all brought it there,” McDaniel said.
Standing at the corner where Bing was shot, his cousin, Tasha Thomas, told News4Jax she didn’t think he ever had a fair chance in life.
“At the end of the day, he was profiled. It's no doubt about that,” Thomas said. “He was racially profiled. He was stereotyped. He has been stereotyped as a kid.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Bing's family with expenses.
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