AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Protesters demanded answers from the Aurora Police chief after the deadly shooting of an unarmed black man by an Aurora Police officer.
Wednesday’s afternoon protest took place outside Aurora Police Headquarters. It is the first of what is expected to be many demonstrations related to the deadly shooting.
According to police, Naeschylus Vinzant, 37, was wanted for removing his ankle bracelet while on parole. Police also wanted him for a March 2 kidnapping, assault, domestic violence and robbery.
The shooting happened at approximately 1:15 p.m. at the intersection of East 12th Avenue and Memphis Street on March 6. Vinzant was taken to the hospital where he later died.
Protesters on Wednesday carried signs that read, “Murder By Cop is Lynching” and “Black Lives Matter.”
“We need an open investigation. The police cannot investigate themselves,” said Aurora Cop Watch spokesman Shared Aleem.
Among those in the crowd were family members Vinzant who were demanding answers, “Why was an unarmed man shot?”
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said he was not surprised by the protests.
“If people feel that they need to exercise their First Amendment rights, we as a department would be there happy to facilitate that as long as it’s peaceful,” said Metz.
Aurora Police have been slow in the release of information, not revealing the name of the officer who fired the single shot, his race or background.
When asked if his officer believed the suspect had a weapon, Metz replied, “Again, that’s all part of the investigation. I can’t get into that now.”
When asked if his officers felt threatened in any way, Metz replied, “That’s all part of the investigation.”
Metz said they are waiting for the officer’s statement. A lawyer hired by the Aurora Police Association has not allowed him to be interviewed.