Washington state cops allegedly shot dead an unarmed black man as he ran away from officers Thursday night before leaving his body lying in the street for 12 hours, moving his car from the scene before his corpse and refusing to speak to his family about the incident.
Kevin Peterson, a 21-year-old former football player and father to a baby girl, was shot and killed by deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in a US Bank parking lot in Vancouver just before 6 p.m. Thursday.
Witnesses said they saw Peterson ‘looking scared’ and running from the officers before cops offloaded multiple rounds of bullets into him.
Ben Crump, the attorney for several other families of black people killed by cops, claims his body was then left lying in the street for 12 hours and that authorities refused to speak with his devastated family.
Clark County Sheriff’s Office confirmed hours later its deputies had been involved in a shooting near the 6800 block of NE Highway 99, in the Hazel Dell area of the city but has released no further details of the incident.
It is not clear why officers were at the scene in the first place or why they opened fire on the young black father.
His death comes amid nationwide protests demanding an end to systemic racism and police brutality after multiple black men and women have been killed in police custody in recent months.
In the last week alone, Mark Matthew Bender Jr, 35, was shot dead by a cop outside a liquor store in San Bernardino, Karon Hylton, 20, died after his moped smashed into the side of a van while being chased by cops in Washington DC and Walter Wallace Jr, 27, was shot dead in front of his mom in Philadelphia while clutching a knife in the midst of a suspected mental health crisis.
Washington state cops allegedly shot dead unarmed black man Kevin Peterson (above) as he ran from officers Thursday before leaving his body lying in the street for 12 hours, moving his car from the scene before his corpse and refusing to speak to his family about the incident
Multiple eyewitnesses described seeing a commotion in the US Bank parking lot in Hazel Dell Thursday evening before cops fired ‘lots of shots’ at Peterson.
The young black man died at the scene and was not transported to hospital, with his body allegedly left in the street until the early hours of Friday morning.
The circumstances around Peterson’s death are unclear but his car was reportedly at the scene.
Officers were seen in the parking lot and the area was cordoned off well into the night, KOIN reported.
Based on witness accounts, Peterson was in the parking lot when multiple squad cars sped to the scene and around 25 cops leaped out and shot him dead.
One witness named Dan said he saw a black man in the parking lot ‘just hopping around, looking worried’ and ‘looking really scared’ before several police cruisers sped along the road and pulled up.
Peterson appeared to have his hands in his pocket, he told Oregon Live.
Cops then exited their cars with their firearms drawn and quickly fired multiple shots at Peterson, the witness who was driving along Highway 99 at the time said.
Kevin Peterson, a 21-year-old father to a baby girl, was shot and killed by deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in a US Bank parking lot in Vancouver just before 6 p.m. Thursday
‘And all of a sudden we just start hearing ‘pop pop pop pop,” he said.
‘We didn’t understand how fast it happened.’
Taylor Lappier said he saw ‘roughly 25 officers wielding guns and/or riot shields’ at the scene, including officers with Vancouver Police.
Another witness, Joseph Webster, 18, said he was in the back of a business working with a customer over the road when he heard tires screeching in the parking lot.
He said he then saw Peterson running away before hearing cops fire ‘lots of shots’ at him.
Another witness wrote on social media that only five seconds had passed between cops pulling up at the scene and shooting Peterson dead.
‘Cops pulled in and in less than 5 seconds they opened fire,’ Dan Uphoff wrote over the SWESA SW WA Emergency Services Alerts Facebook page.
‘I’m normally the biggest police supporter. But me and my family after seeing this..’
Witnesses said they saw Peterson ‘looking scared’ and running from the officers before cops offloaded multiple rounds of bullets into him. Pictured the scene above
Peteson’s body was then allegedly left lying in the street for 12 hours and authorities were said to have refused to speak with his devastated family
Peterson’s father, Kevin Peterson, told Oregon Live he arrived at the scene about 6 p.m. but ‘did not get a chance to identify my son’ until 5:30 a.m. Friday.
Witnesses also said Peterson’s body was left in the street for 12 hours after the shooting and that officers prioritized moving his vehicle over his dead body.
One protester who drove from Portland to join protests demanding justice and answers told Newsweek she saw Peterson’s devastated mom ‘break down’ at the scene as her son’s body lay in the street.
‘They left his body out there for almost exactly 12 hours,’ she said.
‘His mom just broke down. I’ve never heard a sound like that.’
Police were ‘prioritizing getting his car out of there before his body,’ she said.
The witness said Peterson’s parents were finally taken to identify their son’s body in the early hours of Friday.
Protesters gathered outside the US Bank parking lot in Hazel Dell Thursday night chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Say his name: Kevin Peterson’ as news of Peterson’s death spread
A woman named Marquis thought to be Peterson’s sister described how police still hadn’t allowed the family to see his body at midnight.
‘Feds ain’t even tellin US on the scene what happened. We haven’t even been able to see my f***n brother,’ she wrote on Twitter.
‘Talking bout due to laws and protocols we can’t see my brother. Why are those followed more strictly than police just f***n shooting us?!?
‘My little brother is a human being.’
Marquis told Newsweek around 4 a.m. it was ‘almost 12 hours later from it all happening and… [police] haven’t said anything to us.’
Another witness also described the same scenario, saying ‘cops have not told them [the family] anything.’
‘They say the body is still in the street; has been since 6pm. It’s almost 1am,’ Mac Smiff wrote over Twitter.
A woman named Olivia believed to be Peterson’s girlfriend and mother of his baby said she was on the phone to police at the time of the shooting and they hung up on her.
A woman named Olivia believed to be Peterson’s girlfriend and mother of his baby said she was on the phone to police at the time of the shooting and they hung up on her
‘I can’t stop replaying that call in my head.. I heard his last words y’all PLEASE keep blowing this up i have screenrecordings of the police hanging up on me! Kevin didn’t deserve thisBroken heart,’ she tweeted.
Crump wrote on Twitter that yet another ‘black man’s name [has been] added to the list’ of fatal police shootings.
‘HEARTBREAKING. Last night, fatally shot 21yo Kevin Peterson Jr., a Black man & father of a baby girl. Eyewitnesses say they saw Kevin running away from cops allegedly unarmed & scared. 1 more Black man’s name added to the list… When will this stop?!’ he wrote.
‘Witnesses say it took police nearly 12 HOURS to remove Kevin Peterson Jr.’s body from the scene & police refused to let his family speak with a PIO/family liaison for hours. What are they hiding? PLEASE be transparent & let his family know why Kevin was killed!’
Protesters gathered outside the US Bank parking lot in Hazel Dell Thursday night chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Say his name: Kevin Peterson’ as news of Peterson’s death spread.
Footage on social media showed the area cordoned off as darkness fell with police officers – some in riot gear – on one side while around 30 peaceful protesters rallied on the other.
In another video, someone in a vehicle shows roads blocked off by law enforcement and caution tape saying ‘the whole entire cavalry’ was out there.
Separate footage, said to be shot after 3 a.m. shows witnesses questioning cops on why Peterson’s body still hadn’t been moved.
Ben Crump wrote on Twitter that yet another ‘black man’s name [has been] added to the list’ of fatal police shootings
Demonstrators and family members dispersed from the area around 5:30 a.m.
Jake Thompson, who went to high school with Peterson, told the Washington Post he played football at Union High School in Vancouver and was a big personality who was known and liked by everyone at school.
Camas Police Department are heading up the independent investigation into the shooting.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the department as well as Clark County Sheriff’s Office for information.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to cover funeral costs.
Peterson is the latest in a string of cop killings of black people across America in recent months.
Demonstrators have been taking to the streets nationwide for months demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism following the Memorial Day ‘murder’ of George Floyd.
Floyd died back in May after white cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he begged for air and said ‘I can’t breathe’.
Chauvin and the three other cops involved were fired and charged over the killing.
Last week a judge dismissed the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin but maintained second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
This came after EMT Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot six times in March when three plainclothes officers performed a botched raid at her Louisville apartment.
Karon Hylton (left), a 20-year-old father-of-one, died after his Revel moped smashed into the side of a van in Washington DC Friday night while he was being chased by police. On Monday afternoon, Walter Wallace(right) was shot multiple times and killed when officers were called out to reports of a domestic incident in West Philadelphia
Last month, a grand jury decided not to bring any charges against the three cops involved in her death, with only one officer charged in connection to the incident – not for Taylor’s death but for wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment.
In June, unarmed father Rayshard Brooks was shot dead while he ran from cops in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta.
Then, in August, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a white cop in front of his three young children, leaving the father-of-six paralyzed from the waist down.
In October unarmed black city worker Jonathan Price was shot dead outside a gas station by a white cop in Texas, as he was reportedly trying to break up a domestic incident.
Last Thursday, Mark Matthew Bender Jr., 35, was shot dead by a San Bernardino police officer who was responding to reports of someone jumping on cars.
Bystander cellphone footage shows Bender and the cop struggling on the ground at the 200 block of West Base Line Street outside King Tut Liquor before the officer stands, pulls out his gun and opens fire on the black man.
Police released the bodycam footage from the incident revealing the cop pointed his gun at Bender as soon as he spotted him strolling past the store – as the force defended the officer saying Bender was armed with an unregistered gun.
Karon Hylton, a 20-year-old father-of-one, died in a hospital three days after his Revel moped smashed into the side of a van in Washington DC on Friday night while he was being chased by police.
On Monday afternoon, Walter Wallace, a father who had recently got married, was shot multiple times and killed when officers were called out to reports of a domestic incident in Cobbs Creek, West Philadelphia.
Philadelphia police said Wallace had a knife and didn’t comply with officers’ demands to drop it while the man’s family said he had mental health issues and was on medication.