NAACP Norfolk Branch calls for FBI investigation into police-involved shootings

A photo of the knife Willie James reportedly had on June 2, 2016. (Photo: Norfolk Police Department)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk Branch of the NAACP has called for an FBI investigation into police-involved shootings since 2010.

The Norfolk Branch called for the investigation in a news release from President Joe W. Dillard, Jr. on Monday.

This decision comes the week after a deadly officer-involved shooting, which resulted in the death of 43-year-old Willie James.

Monday’s release states that the branch has seen the body camera video from the shooting, and has asked police to share the footage with the family of James.

Dillard confirmed with 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings that he has seen the video, and says it shows a man who is holding a knife, and was within two feet of officers before shots were fired.

Iaisha James is the niece of Willie James, and she says her uncle was not holding a knife.

“They’re lying. They are lying about a knife that was never there,” said James. “His eyes aren’t mine so until the family can verify that it was in fact my uncle holding the knife, I have no more to say about that issue.”

She says she has not seen the video, but is waiting to view it.

Keon Wilson, 23, says he is now left without a father.

“I got to live without no Daddy. I picture my Dad walking around everyday. I am at a loss for words,” said Wilson.

In a news conference last week, Norfolk Police chief Michael Goldsmith said that police would not make the video available to the public at this time.

The NAACP’s call for a federal investigation comes on the heals of Councilman Paul Riddick‘s request for a federal investigation last week.

Riddick has asked for an investigation into police-involved shootings dating back to 2013.

10 On Your Side’s Laura Caso will have more on this story tonight on WAVY News 10, with coverage beginning at 4.

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