Five Months After Willard Scott Was Killed by a State Trooper, No Autopsy Has Been Released | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Five Months After Willard Scott Was Killed by a State Trooper, No Autopsy Has Been Released

Posted by on Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 6:06 PM

The family of Willard Scott, who was shot and killed by a highway patrolman in Durham in February, gathered with local representatives of the NAACP on Saturday seeking answers in the thirty-one-year-old's death.

Since Scott was killed on February 12, family members have made frequent calls to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner asking when autopsy results will be available. "Soon," they're told.

"Junior did not have to die," said Scott's mother, Thomasine Hinson. "It has been almost five months since the day that he died. I have no more answers today than I did that day."
click to enlarge Willard Scott - THOMASINE HINSON
  • Thomasine Hinson
  • Willard Scott

During a press conference Saturday in front of the Durham County court house, family members got more information than they were able to in weeks of organizing call-ins to the medical examiner. It came from a television reporter, reading an emailed statement from the medical examiner's office: The release of Willard's autopsy is being held up by pending toxicology results.

"We may not be here today had they told the family that," Roland Stanton, Durham NAACP President.

Still, Stanton says, the nearly five months Scott's family have waited for autopsy results is "breaking a record." During the press conference he listed how long it took to get results following other police shootings in Durham: sixty-seven days, forty-four, forty-nine, fifty-five, one hundred and thirty four days.

"As we stand here with you today we are at one hundred and forty days and counting for Willard," Stanton said.

A review by the State Bureau of Investigation can't be completed without the autopsy results, and District Attorney Roger Echols can't consider whether criminal charges are warranted without the SBI's report.

"The longer this goes, the worse it smells," Stanton said.

Scott was shot after Trooper Jerimy Mathis attempted to pull him over on Duke Street near Duke Regional Hospital for driving erratically. According to the state Highway Patrol, Mathis briefly pursued Scott in his car and when Scott got out of his vehicle and ran, Mathis chased him before firing his weapon. A gun that did not belong to the Highway Patrol was found at the scene, the agency said.

Scott was one of three people killed by law enforcement in Durham from November through February. Three days after his death, Durham police fatally shot Kenneth Bailey in the Club Boulevard neighborhood. Bailey's autopsy results were released April 21.

"For those who may ask how this could happen, simply like many other families in Durham, he died at the hands of a cop," Hinson said. " ... On that night, alone with no other witnesses, Officer Jerimy Mathis served as judge, jury and executioner. This is not right. The only person whose story will be told about that night is the officer's because my son is dead. Well I am here today to ensure my son's story will be told and is not forgotten."
More than a dozen family members, wearing T-shirts with Scott's picture and the words "Shots fired. Willard is down," stood in front of the courthouse, some holding poster board signs. Creative, talented, thinker, writer, read one with a drawing representing one of three books Scott had been writing when he was killed. Others showed a picture of a casket, a photo of Mathis, and the words "killer cops wanted for prosecution.

Two of Scott's brothers, Kevin and Asaad, read poems that were meaningful to Scott. Hinson recalled a son who called her goddess and always called to sing happy birthday.

"Willard was one of a kind, advanced beyond his years," she said. "He was willing to explore and push the limits and to selflessly serve a cause greater than himself."

In addition to the autopsy results, the family is asking for access to audio or video of the shooting, a transparent investigation, the full prosecution of Mathis if it is found that he acted improperly, and increased de-escalation training for state troopers.

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Most Recent Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I truly admire the passion and support the message. But it seems standing on an overpass during rush hour traffic …

by Diane Alenezi on High Above I-40, Protesters Call for "Health Care 4 All" (News)

This will turn the Mordecai neighborhood & surrounding neighborhoods (one of the only places in downtown Raleigh with any character …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Oh Leanne, don't you know the GA laid them all off? And that people always crap on their own public …

by biIIy on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation