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Atlanta mother of Jaylin McKenzie, who was shot and killed by MPD during a traffic stop, demanding justice and answers

“The police claim that my son shot first, so I ask myself, ‘Where is the gun?” said Ashley McKenzie, Jaylin McKenzie's mother.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The mother of Jaylin McKenzie, who was shot in December during a traffic stop while visiting Memphis, gave a list of demands for more information in her son’s death. 

Jaylin McKenzie's mother, Ashley McKenzie, said all she wants is the truth of what happened that day. 

“I’ll never see my son graduate from college. I’ll never see him buy a car, get married, have kids,” she said. “There are days that I just don’t want to wake up.”

It is a nightmare that she keeps replaying and replaying. 

“But I know I have to be strong for him because if I don’t, he’ll just be another Black boy who was killed,” said Ashley McKenzie.

Her son, Jaylin McKenzie, was shot eight months ago during a traffic stop on Cochese Avenue while visiting Memphis. Police said while stopping the car, the driver drove off, landed in a grassy area, and at least three people took off running. Memphis Police said Jaylin shot at an officer, and that officer shot back, killing him.

“The police claim that my son shot first, so I ask myself, ‘Where is the gun?'" said Ashley.

Ashley said she knows the name of the officer who shot her son, but she also is demanding the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and MPD to name all officers involved, show all video footage, provide a full police and autopsy report and complete their investigation. 

“My son was seen running away and got gunned down like an animal on the street. He was hit five times. My son was shot one time in the back of his leg and shattered his knee,” said Ashley.

“All agencies should be as transparent as possible,” said Steve Mulroy, Shelby County District Attorney.

In a press conference on Tuesday, DA Mulroy said it could take more time before more information is given about Jaylin’s death. 

“Part of the holdup is waiting for lab results to come back. There are ballistics tests that still have to come back,” said Mulroy.

Ashley McKenzie said the officer who shot her son did not have his body camera turned on. 

“Without commenting on this particular case because it’s an on-going investigation, but speaking more generally, yes. There has been instances we have encountered where officers didn’t have their body cameras on,” said Mulroy. “Yes, it does delay the completion of the investigation.”

It is a completion still in waiting for a mother living in hurt. 

“We’ll keep fighting. I’ll keep fighting until my last breath,” said Ashley. 

She said her open records request to authorities have been denied three times and has received an incomplete autopsy report. Ashley also said community members, friends and family have sent more than 2,500 emails to law enforcement with no response. She said if her demands for answers are not met, she will be back in Memphis on September 16 holding a rally to demand justice.

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