Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines is asking the public to trust the investigative process in the case of a daylight shooting at Hanes Mall last week. The comments came during a press conference where a diverse group of elected officials urged unity.
It’s the second press conference in less than a week over the slaying of Julius “Juice” Sampson, who was shot to death outside of BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in an outparcel of Hanes Mall. The victim is black. Police arrested a suspect who is white.
Joines pledged a transparent investigation but urged people to give investigators enough time to get the facts.
“I think this particular case brings to bear a lot of public scrutiny on it because of the public nature of it occurring; the fact that it involved a white individual and a black victim,” he says.
A dozen locally elected officials flanked Joines as he spoke.
Among them was State Rep. Derwin Montgomery. He says there are unanswered questions about the role race may have played in Sampson’s death.
“We just want to make sure that the process has the ability to understand what was the true motivation," he says. "And that’s what will allow the police department and the district attorney’s office to able to investigate so that if that is the case they can properly prosecute in the way that they need to.”
State Rep. Evelyn Terry called Sampson's death a tragic loss.
"He represents the finest of what African-American men do in the community," she says.
At a press conference last week, Police Chief Catrina Thompson said both the victim and the suspect used a racial epithet during an argument that preceded the shooting. But she said there was no evidence at the time to indicate race motivated the shooting.
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