NAACP: Too many unanswered questions in shooting death of 19-year-old

NAACP: Too many unanswered questions in shooting death of 19-year-old
Denzel Curnell’s sister wept openly at a Charleston NAACP press conference demanding answers about the Friday night shooting death. (Photo Source: Live 5 News)
Denzel Curnell’s sister wept openly at a Charleston NAACP press conference demanding answers about the Friday night shooting death. (Photo Source: Live 5 News)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston chapter of the NAACP demanded answers Thursday in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man at a downtown apartment complex.

The organization held a press conference at Brittlebank Park, directly across the street from the Charleston Police Department.

Denzel "Jaba" Curnell was killed during a confrontation with a Charleston Police officer at Bridgeview Village on June 20, according to authorities.

"Silence is not golden, but is confusing and infuriating," NAACP Charleston chapter president Dot Scott said.

Curnell's sister cried uncontrollably at the press conference and his stepfather expressed anger.

"Nothing will bring my son back to me, nothing," said Curnell's stepfather Dwayne German. "I need peace and I need justice right here, right now."

Scott said there are too many questions surrounding Curnell's death. The coroner's office said he died from a gunshot wound to the head, but the manner of death has not been determined.

"Why did this encounter with that officer end with what is alleged to be his suicide, and why would a left handed young man in a stressful situation shoot himself in the right side of his head?" Scott asked.

Police Chief Greg Mullen said there is no evidence the officer involved in the confrontation with Curnell fired a gun.

Mullen said Curnell had a gun which was recovered at the scene.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating.

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