Protesters gather in downtown Bryan for a man shot by Killeen Police and to highlight mental illness
“It’s okay to not be okay one day, and that don’t mean shoot a person like a animal. He was shot like a animal.”
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Protesters gathered in downtown Bryan Saturday in response to the death of Rev. Patrick Warren, an unarmed man who was fatally shot on Jan. 10, outside his home in Killeen.
The estimated group of 50 demonstrators gathered at the corner of East 29th Street and Texas Avenue in Bryan. The protest was organized by Black Lives Matter of Bryan-College Station. They believed that even though the event didn’t take place in Bryan, it was important for everyone to let their voice be heard.
On Tuesday, Killeen police released an officer’s body camera video that showed the moment Warren was shot outside his home after police received a call requesting a mental health officer to help Warren, who was reported to be acting aggressively.
Ebony Peterson and Tre Watson, protest organizers and leaders with the Black Lives Matter of Bryan-College Station organization, said more has to be done to put an end to these types of preventable shootings.
“Police officers should not have to deal with mental health patients,” said Peterson. “If they do have to deal with them, each department in the nation should have a mental health crisis team.”
“I feel like it’s time that we sit down and actually look at what policing is and notice all the discriminatory practices that are happening with the police department,” said Watson.
Lola Pitts-Thurmon grew up with Warren; she said the Killeen Police Department failed Warren’s family.
“He didn’t get the help; he clearly was crying out for help,” said Pitts-Thurmon. “They did not call for the police, and the Killeen police department failed them.”
Monica Conley is Warrens’s cousin. She said she’s still in disbelief.
“He was a good man, a great person,” said Conley. “He loved to help people, and I mean, this hurts.”
Earnest Warren III is the youngest brother of Warren. He said his family wants answers, and they demand justice. They want the Killeen police officer fired and arrested.
He said his family is living a nightmare.
“Man, we hurt, this all feels like nothing but a dream, but it’s not, it’s real,” said Warren.
“I don’t understand why a mental health call turns into a murder,” said Warren.
Pitts-Thurmon says almost all families have a family member that suffers from some form of mental illness, and if not, everyone knows someone that does. She believes these types of incidents should not be happening.
“It’s ok to not be ok one day,” said Pitts-Thurmon. “That doesn’t mean shoot a person like an animal. He was shot like an animal.”
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