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Jacksonville community gathers for D'angelo Stallworth, killed by police

By Dave Schneider and Richard Blake |
May 14, 2015
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Family and supporters of D'angelo Stallworth gather for a candlelight vigil
Family and supporters of D'angelo Stallworth gather for a candlelight vigil after police shot and killed him on May 12 (Photo by Tefa Galvis)

Jacksonville, FL - Over 100 people attended a candlelight vigil at Planters Walk Apartments, May 13, in response to the police killing the day before of D'angelo Reyes Stallworth, a 28-year-old African American worker. Stallworth's family called the vigil, which brought out friends, coworkers and supporters from around Jacksonville.

Two white Jacksonville Sheriff's Office deputies killed Stallworth on May 12 after shooting him several times in the back. The police showed up at Planters Walk apartments to serve an eviction notice. They claimed that they thought Stallworth looked suspicious and got into a confrontation with him. As Stallworth ran away, both officers fired a combined six rounds, killing him.

While police claim that Stallworth drew a gun on them during their initial interaction, many witnesses and facts contradict their story. For instance, the gun that police allege Stallworth possessed was found on the patio, while the gun's magazine was found some distance away at the base of the apartment stairs.

At the vigil, Stallworth's family and their attorney, Eric S. Block, spoke briefly about the case. They emphasized that they saw serious contradictions in the police's narrative and that they would continue waging a struggle to win justice for Stallworth.

Stallworth worked at the United Parcel Service hub in Jacksonville, which is one of the three largest ground hubs for the company in the U.S. He was on medical leave from UPS when he was killed and was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Stallworth was due to return to work the following week. More than a dozen of his coworkers at UPS attended the vigil, many wearing UPS and Teamsters shirts.

Contrary to police descriptions of Stallworth as suspicious or threatening, supporters at the vigil who knew him gave a different story. “Dee was a wonderful loving person,” said Eboni Montgomery, one of Stallworth's coworkers at UPS. “It was never a dull moment with him. He could put a smile on anyone's face. That's why it's so hard to believe he's gone.”

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