FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — For a second straight day in Fayetteville, people gathered to protest the weekend shooting of a man by an off-duty Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Fayetteville police said Jason Walker died Saturday afternoon after being shot by the deputy on Bingham Drive.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office on Monday identified the deputy as Lt. Jeffrey Hash and said Hash has been placed on administrative leave. Hash has not been charged.
Monday evening, Fayetteville City Council met with chants of protesters in the background, calling for answers in the case.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins told the council the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now conducting an “initial assessment” of the case. While not a full-scale investigation, Hawkins said the agency is looking to see whether there were any potential civil rights violations.
“They are collecting statements and evidence that’s already been provided to them,” Hawkins told the city council.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading the inquiry into Walker’s death.
At a news conference Sunday, Hawkins reiterated initial reports from the Fayetteville Police Department, that police believe Walker jumped onto Hash’s vehicle before the shooting. Hawkins said black box data from Hash’s vehicle indicated the pickup truck did not impact anything or anyone prior to the incident.
She also said it appears a windshield wiper was torn off the truck, with the metal portion used to break the windshield in multiple places.
However, protesters continued a push for answers Monday, chanting outside the city building in downtown Fayetteville Monday evening. Another group of a dozen or so protesters held signs outside the State Capitol in Raleigh.
As the SBI leads the investigation and the FBI conducts its initial assessment into the case, Fayetteville City Council also passed a resolution Monday evening calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to probe the case.
While Hawkins said the FBI would conduct an “initial assessment,” the agency said on Tuesday it was ready to investigate the shooting if needed:
“We are aware of the shooting death investigation in Fayetteville and are in regular contact with local and state authorities. If, in the course of the North Carolina SBI investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate.”
The city council asked the city manager to put together a draft, which the city plans to send to the U.S. Attorney.