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Black Lives Matter activists call for answers in Jaylin McKenzie shooting

The rally for Mckenzie is scheduled to held Saturday, June 10 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at American Way Park with a march outside of the Mount Mariah Precinct at 1:45.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A rally took place Saturday outside of the Memphis Police Department's Mount Moriah Precinct as Black Lives Matter activists demanded answers regarding the death of an Atlanta man.

Traffic on Perkins and American Way was blocked as protestors shouted "say his name," with "Jaylin Mckenzie" as a resounding response.

Twenty-year-old Mckenzie was visiting Memphis late last year when, as Memphis police state, he ran from officers and allegedly fired at police following a traffic stop. Mckenzie was shot and killed.

His mother came from Atlanta to Memphis looking for answers shortly after it first happened but said she found no more from MPD. 

For Ashley Mckenzie Smith, it all started when she said she got an unexpected call from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) the morning of Dec. 17, 2022.

The TBI said Memphis Police officers tried to pull a car over near American Way, but the person behind the wheel allegedly drove off, and when they got to Cochese Avenue, three people allegedly ran from the car.

That is when officers chased a man down the street before someone started shooting, according to the TBI.

We Shut Shit down #Americanway

Posted by Frank E Gottie on Saturday, June 10, 2023

Posters for the rally on Saturday make the case that there was no gun recovered and no gun residue. Now, Smith and activists are demanding body camera video and a detailed police report be made public. 

"If you’re saying that he did whatever he did, then you need to have the paperwork to back it up," Smith said in Memphis on Saturday. "We’ve got two autopsies and neither one of them are complete. We did three open records requests and all three were denied." 

Smith said that she will continue to fight for her son until justice is served and she gets clarity.

"We are here standing in solidarity with the family of Jaylin Mckenzie for nothing more than answers — simple basic answers," Black Lives Matter rapid response coordinator Andrew Joseph said. "When this happens to you, you not only bury your child at night, you bury yourself as well."

Jacob Blake Sr. was at the protest on Saturday.

"We hold the mayor accountable; the district attorney accountable, city council accountable — we hold the people of Memphis accountable to try to get answers for this mother," Blake Sr. said.


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