Fort Worth

Fort Worth Activists Hold Two Community Meetings After String of Officer-Involved Shootings

Fort Worth police have shot, or shot at, four suspects in 10 days and that has community leaders calling for changes. The shootings were all the talk at a pair of community meetings Monday night where people called for transparency.

At the second meeting at Texas Wesleyan University, folks called for a community oversight board over the police department. Cameras were not allowed in that meeting as people shared personal stories about their run-ins with police. But earlier in the night, the girlfriend of 20-year-old Jaquavion Slaton, who police killed Sunday spoke out for the first time.

"They shouldn't have killed him," said Raya Arzu through tears. "They didn't have to kill him like that."

Fort Worth Police said they were trying to arrest Slaton for a felony warrant when he ran, hid in a car and ignored commands to come out. Police then went to break one of the car's windows and they say Slaton made a gesture that made them fear for their lives. Three officers shot and killed him.

Police then found a handgun in the car and they say "evidence supports" that the suspect fired it.

"Their first priority is to paint him as a villain," said Pastor Kyev Tatum, a community activist.

Community leaders say that with the recent uptick in officer-involved shootings, trust is gone. Now they want to see video of what happened for themselves.

"Men lie, women lie, but that body cam don't lie," Pastor Tatum said.

An angry crowd gathered at the shooting scene Sunday night, right next door to Tamequa Muhammad. She and her husband attended Monday night's meeting at Texas Wesleyan.

"You're dealing with a community that's very emotional," Muhammad said. "We are all shaken up, traumatized."

Now as they wait for answers, they're turning to each other. Arzu was at the meeting at Pastor Tatum's church with her four-month old, Slaton's son.

"Jay was a good father," Arzu said. "He always stuck by my side."

As she broke down, a crowd of mothers stepped up to comfort her, the community doing what it can to heal itself.

The three officers involved in the latest shooting have been with the department for five, seven and 10 years. They are all on administrative leave while the department investigates the incident.

Meanwhile activists are calling for more people to speak out at a city council meeting Tuesday night.

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