Durant Protest - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Durant Protest

Emotions were running high in Durant, Mississippi Tuesday night.  Citizens say they are angry and filled with grief following a fatal shooting involving a Durant Police officer.  Concerned citizens poured out of the Board of Aldermen meeting chanting, "justice for Rod".

Roderick Dewayne Thomas was shot on Lee Street not far from Police headquarters on Mulberry Street over the weekend. At Tuesday night's board meeting concerned citizens questioned why Thomas was fatally shot.

Officers claim they discovered a car riddled with bullets that appeared to be firebombed. When they determined the owner was wanted for a shooting by the Holmes County Sheriff's Department, officers say they tried to make an arrest. In a struggle Thomas was shot. His family says Thomas was maced and was not armed.

"He was gunned down and killed. He was shot and killed in front of his mother, in front my father, in front of my sisters. They had to sit there and witness this",said Corneisha Bush, Thomas' cousin.

"He surrendered to them and threw his hands, he threw his hands up and officers still just slaughtered him, still put the gun to him and shot him through the side man. Instant murder, wouldn't let...he had an auntie that is a nurse and his auntie tried to get them to let her do CPR and they said no", said Rickie Landfair, Thomas' father.

Some of the protesters say they plan to file a complaint with the State Attorney General's Office. They also say officers abuse their power by harassing and bullying citizens. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is looking into the shooting.

No one with the Board of Aldermen or Police Department would comment on the case. Thomas was 23 years old.

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