Wake County school board member Keith Sutton has apologized for using the word “murder” to describe the fatal shooting of Akiel Denkins by a Raleigh police officer.
Denkins was killed on Feb. 29 by Raleigh police officer D.C. Twiddy. Police have said Denkins was armed and was shot during a struggle, while Denkins’ family says he was unarmed and shot from behind. Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has asked for the final autopsy to be expedited.
Sutton said that he inadvertently used the word murder while stressing at the March 15 school board meeting that the school system needs to be responsive to the community. Sutton said he was not trying to cast the Raleigh police in a negative light.
“I used the wrong choice of words,” Sutton said in an interview this week. “I was not trying to implicate the Raleigh Police Department in any way. I should probably just have said ‘the shooting of’ or ‘the death of.’”
After media reports about his comments, Sutton said he contacted Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown on March 15 because he did not want them taken the wrong way. A letter to the editor with Sutton’s apology for his remarks was printed in Tuesday’s News & Observer.
Garner to name manager
The Garner Town Council is expected to remove the interim tag from Rodney Dickerson’s title and make him the new town manager, a council member and the mayor confirmed.
“The public has known for some time that Rodney is a likely person to be appointed,” said Mayor Ronnie Williams. “However, nothing is official until the contract has been signed.”
Said council member Gra Singleton: “Unless there is a big hiccup along the way, I think that’s the goal the council is working towards.”
The announcement will be made at the council’s work session Tuesday evening, Singleton, Williams and council members Buck Kennedy and Ken Marshburn said.
A few weeks ago, the council met with Dickerson behind closed doors to talk with him about the position. And this past Tuesday, council members had a closed session to work out some details of Dickerson’s contract.
“I think it would be nice to have someone named,” Singleton said. “I think some citizens have been asking. I think staff is interested to know, and once the decision is made and the manager is named, people will be happy.”
Dickerson, 48, a Duke University graduate, has worked for the town for 15 years. He was appointed assistant town manager in 2004.
▪ The Western Wake Republican Club will have a state legislative preview with Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary and Rep. Marilyn Avila of Raleigh on Monday, March 28, at Rally Point Sports Grill, 1837 N. Harrison Ave. in Cary. An optional dinner is at 6 p.m. The meeting is at 7 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org
▪ State Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate for governor, will speak to the Democratic Women of Wake County on Thursday, March 31, at the N.C. State University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. Lunch buffet opens at 11:30 a.m. followed by the program at noon. The cost of lunch is $20, payable at the door. The program is free and visitors are welcome. For reservations, email Pam Sturgeon at email@example.com or call 425-879-1636 by noon Monday, March 28.
▪ State Secretary of Labor Cherie Berry will speak to the Republican Women of Cary and Southwestern Wake on Thursday, April 7, at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m. with lunch at noon. Lunch is $25. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compiled by T. Keung Hui and Jonathan Alexander.
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