SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The family of a Savannah man who was shot and killed by police is questioning the narrative put out by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. on E. Bolton Street near Waters Avenue. According to the Savannah Police Department (SPD), officers pulled a car over after the driver drove through a stop sign.
As officers and the driver were talking outside of the car, the passenger, 36-year-old Maurice Mincey, remained inside, according to the GBI.
The agency on Wednesday said bodycam footage shows Mincey remove a gun from his waistband and place it in between his legs. SPD Officer Thomas Love was standing on the driver’s side of the car and asked Mincey to put his hands in the air but he refused, according to the GBI.
The GBI said Mincey got out of the car, grabbed the gun and was moving toward another officer on the passenger side of the car. Initially, the agency said he pointed a gun at officers before being shot.
“He tried to run away from the man. You shot a man trying to run away,” said John Peterson, a witness. “That’s what happened. But they control the narrative and they changed everything up.”
“It’s like a slap in the face because I told the GBI what happened. I told them what I saw,” he added.
Emotions were high Thursday as Mincey’s sister and aunt vouched for his character in a media conference Thursday. They say while he did have a troubled past, he was turning his life around.
“He was a good person despite his past. Everybody has a past,” said Aisha Mincey.
Maurice Mincey leaves behind a young son. The boy’s mother says he keeps asking for his dad.
“I just want justice,” she said tearfully.
Alder James Johnson, with the Racial Justice Network, is supporting the family. He’s demanding the GBI release the body camera footage.
“We don’t want it to wait, we want to see exactly what happened, so the community can come to their own conclusion,” said Johnson.
A memorial composed of teddy bears, balloons and candles now sits near the spot Maurice Mincey was killed.
Tammy Mincey, who raised him, said Maurice would help her down the steps every afternoon. She says her nephew was a good man.
“The way he had to leave this world is just sad,” said Tammy Mincey.
The shooting happened in Alderman Detric Leggett’s district. He said while on the scene, witnesses told him they believed Mincey was unarmed.
Leggett says he has no alliance with the mayor or police. He says his focus is transparency.
“My people are hurting and my people have questions,” said Leggett. “To answer those questions, I have to be at the forefront of what’s going on.”
Representatives from the Racial Justice Network say they’ll give GBI three or four days to release that footage before they mobilize all chapters and take to the streets in protest.