Rock Island NAACP director: ‘We want the community to also be part of this relationship’

Local News

It was a week ago Thursday that a 25-year-old Rock Island man was shot and killed after an encounter at a convenience store on 11th Street.

DeShawn Tatum, along with three officers, were taken to UnityPoint Health-Trinity in Rock Island, where he died from his injuries. The officers were treated and released.

The next day, family and friends of Tatum gathered around a makeshift memorial built for him outside of the Chicken Shack convenience store.

This incident was just one of three officer-involved shootings to take place so far in 2021, and one of many to occur over the past year.

The Rock Island County NAACP is speaking out this week, calling for an external investigation into DeShawn Tatum’s death.

The NAACP says they understand that some parts of the situation are still unknown at this time and are yet to be revealed by an internal investigation conducted by Rock Island County.

However, with tensions high between the police, and the African-American community, the organization says it’s advocating for more transparency within local police departments.

“We have a relationship, and we want to continue to develop that relationship with the police departments, the law enforcement,” said Rock Island County NAACP President Bonnie Ballard. “We want the community to also be part of this relationship.”

Ballard adds it’s important to have all of the facts in the Tatum case before conclusions are made.

According to his obituary, Tatum was a father and loved spending time with his kids.

A funeral service was held for him Friday morning.

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