The mother of the distressed 21-year-old fatally shot by police in September said she wants to make sure that another family doesn’t have to face a similar situation.
“If the decision is that no law or policy was broken in this instance, then it is clear something needs to change,” Shanika Biggs said in a statement released Saturday.
The statement followed a week in which Interim Police Chief Larry Smith said that officers didn’t violate any policy in the actions taken before, during and after the Biggs shooting. Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols also announced he had found no criminal wrongdoing in the Biggs shooting.
Police say Biggs was suicidal and holding a weapon when police responded to 911 calls from him and his mother in the 1700 block of Angier Avenue. The Durham NAACP and Shanika Biggs, say police mismanaged the situation and that Biggs’ death could have been prevented.
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On Friday the city announced it would allow La’Vante Biggs’ family to review the Durham Police Department’s internal report on the fatal police shooting.
“Out of respect for the La’Vante Biggs family, the city has offered them an opportunity to review the contents of the Internal Affairs file,” City Manager Tom Bonfield said in a statement. “Hopefully, it will answer many of the questions they have regarding the incident along with the investigation.”
After the family or their representatives review the files, the city may decide to make portions of them public, Bonfield said.
Shanika Biggs’ statement said she appreciates the City Council’s decision to give her family a chance to learn more about how her son was killed and hopes it will provide some answers to their questions.
“While we appreciate this step towards transparency, but we do not view this as accountability for what happened,” the statement said. “We are saddened and angry that no officer has been charged or disciplined for the death of our son. He did not have to die that day.”
Prayer vigil set
The Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham will hold a prayer vigil at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at East Durham Park, 2500 East Main Street, on the day after what would be LaVante Biggs’ 22nd birthday.