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Mayor Holds Public Meeting to Dispell Rumors about Police-Involved Shooting


One week ago today, Phillipe McIver was killed in an officer-involved shooting. Since then, all manner of stories about just how it happened have been circulating on the street.

This afternoon, city leaders met with community members to dispell some of the rumors. Wilmington law enforcment, Wilmington Mayor Saffo and District Attorney Ben David all spoke Thursday afternoon. They say the facts of the case, as they know them, are still the same. But, the event has brought to light, things that may be done differently.

Mayor Bill Saffo called Thursday's public meeting. He says in order to ensure the city stays safe and calm, the public needs to know all the facts.

"I thought it was important that we get the information out to the community leaders to indicate everything we know," Mayor Saffo said.

But whether the public has access to the information is a matter of contention among community leaders. They say they don't feel that there's enough communication between the city and the public.

"I understand that there's certain information that can't be shared, but the community is not being told enough," Hudson Barksdale, Vice President of the New Hanover County NAACP said.

Police say some information can't be shared until the SBI finishes its investigation. What was communicated in the public meeting, was a need for some changes. Changes in the relationship between the WPD and the people they protect.

"The school resource officers were pulled out, " Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said, "and we have absolutely no contact in our schools within the city I've said in the past that that was a mistake and we should be in the schools."

Mayor Saffo says, going forward, putting the WPD back in the schools is something city lawmakers will consider. "That's something that the police department as well as the city council will have to work on in terms of speding resources," Mayor Saffo said.

The State Bureau of Investigation is still working the case. District Attorney Ben David says he knows the community is concerned about this case and he wants it resolved as quickly as possible. David asked that all forensic tests be expeditied.

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