MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – In the past week, complaints and questions have surfaced on social media, questioning how Madison City Police handled their confrontation with Dana Fletcher.
Activists held a rally outside the Madison County Courthouse around 3 p.m. on Sunday.
This was the first public gathering by those with questions for police. The group gathered underlining the need for more transparency from authorities.
Frank Matthews, a Birmingham based activist, lead the rally. He spoke about multiple topics but mainly referenced the recent shooting in Madison where Dana Fletcher was killed.
Fletcher, 39, was killed in the parking lot outside the Planet Fitness at the corner of Highway 72 and Wall Triana Highway on October 27.
“This part of Alabama, almost like no other parts of Alabama. So we would expect differently,” Matthews said.
In a video obtained by WHNT News 19 last week, several officers are seen ordering Fletcher out of the vehicle, a police canine is on the scene, there’s a struggle and then gunshots. Police were on the scene for about four minutes when the video started, and the scene quickly became chaotic.
Matthews said no one is suffering more than fletcher’s 8-year-old child
“She doesn’t understand all the goings-on and what happened all she knows is her and her father and mother were sitting in the van. Some men, policemen knocked out the window, a dog was sicked in the car and gunshots. And that was the end of her father,” he explained.
Matthews, surrounded by several supporters, said there’s no excuse for law enforcement to withhold body camera footage of the shooting from the public.
“They are paid to serve and protect and the body cams belong to us,” said Matthews. “The police officers belong to us we pay them, they get paid well in certain cities and they do a good job. 90% of them.”
Madison County investigators told WHNT News 19 they have “irrefutable evidence” that Fletcher pointed a gun at officers.
Matthews said if that’s true, officers should have no issue resting their case.
“It’s like another police officer and the difference in the police cam officer, they are non-biased whatever comes through the eye of that camera. That’s what it is,” he added.
Matthews also referenced the town hall on Monday that will be hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County NAACP. At the town hall, residents will be able to ask questions about the laws surrounding deadly force by police.
The activist said he plans to be in attendance at the town hall but does not plan to participate in the town hall. He explained he has different views about how the NAACP is responding to the shooting.
He disagrees with the Madison County NAACP’s call for citizens to stay calm.
WHNT News 19 reached out to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for comment on the press conference.
The sheriff’s office said they aren’t going to rush the investigation because they owe it to Fletcher’s family, the officers involved, and the community to conduct a proper and thorough investigation.