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Protesters march on Skibo Road one week after fatal shooting

‘We’re not backing down from this until justice is served,’ activist says of the shooting death of Jason Walker by an off-duty deputy.


About 45 people marched along Skibo Road on Saturday to protest the fatal shooting of Jason Walker by an off-duty deputy the week before.

“As you guys know, today is exactly one week – seven days – without justice,’’ Myah Warren, a Fayetteville activist who organized the event, told the group before the march began. “His life was taken from us last week. And here we are today, no arrest has been made, nothing of that sort. So the whole purpose of today is letting them know that we’re not backing down from this. I repeat, we’re not backing down from this until justice is served.’’

Fayetteville police say Walker was shot and killed Jan. 8 by off-duty deputy Jeffrey Hash near his home on Bingham Drive.

Hash, a lieutenant in the civil division, has been placed on administrative leave while the State Bureau of Investigation looks into the shooting.

No charges have been filed.

Hash was on Bingham Drive when he said Walker pulled a wiper off his truck and began beating the windshield, breaking it. In a 911 call after the shooting, he told a dispatcher that his wife and daughter were in the vehicle and he felt he had to protect them.

There have been protests or marches every day since the shooting with people demanding an arrest in the case.

The group Saturday marched just over a mile along Skibo Road from Cross Creek Mall to the nearby Walmart and back again.

Some carried signs that read “Four Shots in the Back is Murder,” “It’s About Us,” “Justice for Jason Walker” and “Say His Name Jason Walker Unarmed Black Man.”

Warren and Kathy Greggs, president and co-organizer of the Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce, led the group. They used an amplifier that they wheeled in a wagon to lead the crowd in chants.

At times, Mario Benavente - a 31-year-old law student at N.C. Central University and a Fayetteville City Council candidate - took over leading the chants.

“Say his name,” Warren blared.

“Jason Walker,” the marchers responded.

Some motorists honked their horns in support as they drove by the procession. Some raised their fists out of their windows, copying Benavente and others who marched with their fists in the air.

Warren said justice looks like an arrest and all of the police bodycam video being released to the public.

“I want to see what kind of treatment the officer received on the scene," Warren said. "I want to see what kind of statements his wife gave. Let me tell y'all this. Do not – I repeat – do not let the bodycam footage that has been released be a distraction.

“I’ve had people come to me asking are we going to be quiet. Are we going to stop protesting because of what was released? Well, I'm here to tell you that’s going to make us get louder. If they can give us that footage, they can give us all the footage.”

The city on Friday released portions of the bodycam footage of three witnesses. Police Chief Gina Hawkins petitioned the court for the footage to be released. The city said it is reviewing about 20 hours of bodycam video to submit to a judge for consideration. 

Two people on the bodycam video, including Walker’s father, say they saw Walker jump on the hood of the off-duty deputy’s truck before being shot.

“He was out here in the daggone street and that fella drove up and he jumped up on the guy’s hood and the guy jumped out and shoots him,’’ Walker’s father, Anthony, tells an officer on one of the video clips.

The footage also included an interview with Elizabeth Ricks, a trauma nurse who tended to Walker until officers arrived.

Warren said the police chief “gave us what she thought would discredit the witness. Hoping to see the witness is a liar and stop the protests.”

Warren was referring to Ricks.

“I don’t know if he got onto the car or if he was actually hit. I don’t know,’’ Ricks tells an officer.

In the redacted footage, she also said: “It’s like he hit him and then got out and just shot him.”

Before the march started, Christina Aragues peered at the demonstrators standing around her in the mall parking lot and marveled.

“This is democracy in action,” she said. “This is what makes America beautiful.”

Aragues, who is 40 and a Fayetteville resident, brought her 15-year-old son Asher with her.

“I know that a lot of people in town think they’re agitators,” Aragues said. “But they’re people of protest who are fighting for transparency.”

Thirty-two-year-old LaToya Gordon of Hoke County said she has attended six of the seven protests.

“The reason I’m out here, I’m tired of the misjustice of my people,’’ she said. “I’m just tired of all the things going on and nobody pays for it. Seems like we’re the only ones who pay for it.”

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Jason Walker, off-duty deputy, fatal shooting, State Bureau of Investigation, protesters