Adam Ferrise, Cleveland, November 7, 2014
About three dozens friends and family members of Raupheal Thomas protested outside the Akron police headquarters on Friday, four days after a police officer fatally shot Thomas.
The protesters left after about an hour without any conflicts with police.
Akron police, however, say they are investigating a complaint of two protesters stealing 40 hats from a store on their march from East Emerling Street to police headquarters.
The protesters made the estimated 2.5-mile walk from Thomas’ mother’s home and stood outside the police department shouting “Justice for Roc, justice for all,” “No justice, no peace,” and “11-3-14,” the date Thomas was shot.
“It’s happening everyday, everywhere,” said Thomas’ cousin, Maritina Mitchell, who organized the protest. “We want justice.”
Thomas–a man with a criminal history described by family members as a jokester, artist and loving father to his 1-year-old daughter–was shot by a police officer investigating a complaint of two suspicious men walking on Orrin Street and Roslyn Avenue.
Akron police are investigating the details surrounding the shooting. Police have said Thomas had a gun at the time of the shooting and fired at least one round during his interaction with police.
Police also said Thomas fought with officers before the shooting. The officer who fired the shots, a 15-year veteran, has not been identified and is on paid administrative leave.
Protesters on Friday mainly stood on the sidewalk, held signs with Thomas’ nickname, Roc, and shouted slogans demanding justice. One shouted and cursed at police officers going in and out of the building.