Decatur, GA– A family is speaking out and demanding justice after the December 29th killing of Kevin Davis, 44, after he called 9-11 for help.
Davis was by all accounts a kind and loving man. He was, in fact, so kind, that he invited a coworker Terrance Hilyard, who was going through a rough time, to stay with him and his girlfriend, April Edwards, in their small apartment.
On the 29th, an argument escalated between Edwards and their house guest. Hilyard then stabbed Edwards with a kitchen knife before fleeing the residence. Davis called 9-11, and the couple waited in their bedroom for help to arrive.
Shortly after the call, Davis heard gunfire from the front room of his home. He believed Hilyard had returned with a gun. Davis grabbed his gun and went to the front room where he heard the shots.
Tragically, the shots he heard came from an Officer Joseph Pitts, the first to arrive on the scene. He had just shot and killed Davis’ three-legged dog, Tooter. Three witnesses all claim the officer never announced his presence or identified himself as a policeman.
Upon entering the room, Davis was shot, twice, by Officer Pitts. The police claim Davis had been ordered to drop his weapon and did not comply. However, neighbors report that they did not hear the officer tell Davis to drop his gun until after hearing the gunshots.
“We have witnesses that will testify that they heard police yell ‘Drop the gun’ only after the shots were fired,” Mawuli Davis, the family’s lawyer has stated.
Davis was then arrested, charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, and transferred to a hospital in police custody, where he would die two days later.
The family is reporting that they were not allowed to visit him and so ultimately, Davis died alone while being treated as a criminal.
Kevin Davis’s family members “called, went to the the hospital, they tried everything in their power to see him so he wouldn’t die alone. So they could whisper something in his ear that would give him strength to keep fighting,” the family’s lawyer continued on to say.
Edwards was transported to emergency care, her wounds punctured an artery in her right arm, but she has since recovered.
A candlelight vigil held on Thursday evening drew around 75 people, Atlanta Progressive News reports.
“Black people have to now be cautious calling the police when we need help,” said Shakia Pennix, a local organizer.
The crowd then marched to Sawicki’s, a local sandwich shop where Davis worked, and where Davis’s co-workers have created a memorial. Upon arrival, coworkers spoke of the significant loss to their community.
“Kevin was the best person to work up front,” Sawicki said. “He was so friendly and so loving and he kept customers coming in. Here at Sawicki’s we are all about farm-to-table food, health, and being a positive force in the neighborhood. Kevin was all about that. I so miss his presence.”
“Working with Kevin was a blessing,” Jeremiah Sainz, a Sawicki’s employee, said. “He watched my back when I was going through a rough spell.”
The police are currently investigating themselves and will hand the case over to the District Attorney’s office after they likely find that they did nothing wrong.