HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Community members and demonstrators with Black Lives Matter Mississippi gathered in Hattiesburg on Monday to protest an officer-involved shooting that happened last week.
“My involvement here is strictly, strictly to show empathy and support the family, because I have a black son,” said Constance Gordon, a Black Lives Matter supporter.
According to Hattiesburg police, on Jan. 27, officers responded to a report of someone with a gun near Hutchinson Avenue and West 4th Street. The incident ended with shots fired and one person injured.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation confirmed this was an officer-involved shooting and it is currently under investigation.
“Then we get a post on Facebook saying that one of the family members said, ‘You are being silent about my 14-year-old cousin that was shot.’ And I’m like wait what? We didn’t know that it was a child. And then, family members would comment like, ‘Yes, it was a 14-year-old child.’ So it was more like that. It was a social media campaign,” Anastassia Doctor, a board member for Black Lives Matter Mississippi.
The Hattiesburg Police Department and MBI have not released the age of the victim or the names of officers involved since this is still an open investigation.
Doctor explains the movement learned about the events and the victim through Facebook posts, messages and shared articles from people close to the victim.
“It was like piecemeal, different family members contacted us and was like, ‘Hey, this is what happened,” Doctor said.
Demonstrators spent time outside Hattiesburg City Hall and later moved in front of the police station. They say they will continue to be vocal about supporting the family and asking for justice.
“There is no healing when it comes to stuff like that until there’s accountability,” said Doctor.
The next step for MBI is to complete the investigation and give the findings to the district attorney, who will present the evidence to a grand jury.