Group shows support for family of 18-year-old who died in police traffic stop

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Demonstrators gathered Friday night outside the Duval County Courthouse to support the family of 18-year-old Devon Gregory, who died during a traffic stop.

The officer-involved shooting happened near Cassat and San Juan avenues back in November. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the medical examiner determined Gregory had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Sheriff’s Office released body camera footage from the incident. The Medical Examiner’s Office did not state whether the self-inflicted gunshot wound was the cause of death.

Dozens of activists filled the Duval County Courthouse, chanting for Gregory. The 18-year-old’s aunt, Teanay, said he called her during the traffic stop, asking her to come pick him up.

“I spent the last 20 minutes on the phone with him. Him begging for them to back up to give him some time. They didn’t give him the time, the space. He was scared and I just want justice,” she said.

In the body cam footage, officers are seen repeatedly asking Gregory to put his hands up, but he refuses. Officers fired their weapons after Gregory shot himself.

The family hired a private medical examiner. According to the family’s attorney, a second autopsy shows Gregory was shot 13 times, including three times in the head, and the attorney said Gregory was bitten by a K-9.

“I want the kids to be able to trust the officers. I do. He didn’t trust them,” Gregory’s aunt said. “And I want for his other siblings to grow up and be able to trust the officers.”

The family says it wants all of the officers’ body camera videos to be released.

They also say they they feel shutout because they haven’t been able to speak with JSO or any local leaders about this case and they’re hoping their voice will be heard.

Activists say they’re calling for the case to be independently investigated.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that officers tried to de-escalate the situation, telling him not to reach under the seat, which can be heard in the video.

About the Author: