The New Bedford chapter of the NAACP is calling for an independent investigation into the death of 15 year old Malcolm Gracia.
Gracia is the teenager who was shot and killed by New Bedford police after he allegedly stabbed an officer.
The city’s chapter of the NAACP has sent a letter to District Attorney Sam Sutter, whose office is investigating Gracia’s death.
It says in part, that the relationship between the New Bedford Police Department and the community is one of mistrust.
On May 17 at the Temple Landing Housing complex in New Bedford 15-year-old Malcom Gracia was shot and killed after he allegedly stabbed an officer.
Authorities say Gracia attacked the officer, after Gracia and a friend were approached by members of the city’s gang unit.
They say officers ordered Gracia to drop his hunting knife several times before shooting.
According to the NAACP letter, the organization would like to know, among other things, why officers were trying to stop the boys, and was there probable cause to do so.
They also would like to know how many times Gracia was shot and was it by more than one officer who shot him?
The shooting has had an impact on the community. A peace rally was held at the sight right after the shooting.
“I called this for our community, I cried because one of our kids died. Malcolm was a good kid, he did not deserve to die,” said one community activist.
The NAACP letter also asks that the US Dept of Justice Civil Rights Division as well as the U.S. attorney’s office be part of the independent investigation and calls for a civilian review board to investigate the officers involved in the shooting.
DA Sam Sutter has said he will meet with the group this week to discuss their concerns.