Charlotte: US Marshals Shoot and Kill Unarmed Black Man, Family Holds Vigil 

By Julian Oddo

Early Tuesday morning, US Marshals in Charlotte murdered Frankie Jennings, an unarmed 32-year-old Black man in front of his son at a gas station in Plaza Parkwood. Jennings’ family and friends, who called him “Pop,” held a vigil in the evening following the killing, the same day they were originally preparing to celebrate Jennings’ birthday.

The scene hours after police killed Jennings
Frankie Jennings, 32

Tribune spoke with eyewitnesses at the Den’s Mart gas station, who stated that several US Marshals approached Jennings as he was filling up his car with gas to arrest him due to outstanding warrants. A scuffle broke out between Jennings and one of the marshals, before the officer pulled out his gun and shot him. Multiple witnesses corroborated that Jennings was unarmed during the incident and never pulled out a weapon. Jennings’ young son was present at the time of the shooting and witnessed the murder.

Dozens of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) officers arrived shortly after, blocking anyone from approaching the area. The police left Jennings’ body in the parking lot ground for over three hours.

Ruling-class media has been quick to defame Jennings, listing his warrants and promoting the police narrative that a gun belonging to him was found at the scene. Police have refused to answer where the weapon was found, and witnesses assert that Jennings was unarmed when the marshal shot him.

The night of Jennings’ murder, just a few feet from where his blood still stained the ground, his family, joined by community members and activists, held a candlelight vigil in his honor. Around 75 people from the area were present holding signs reading, “Justice for Frankie,” “Release the Tapes,” and “Happy Birthday Pop.”

Jennings’ sister Latannya, who was originally visiting Charlotte to celebrate his birthday, was now eulogizing him and advocating for neighborhood defense, telling the crowd, “He was a father, he was a son, he was a brother, he was an uncle, y’all took an innocent life, for what?”

The attendees demanded that the footage along with the officer’s name be released. US Marshals are not required to wear body cameras, so the only footage of the killing would be sourced from the gas station’s security cameras.

Speaking to local ruling-class news later in the week, family members pointed out that the recent Colorado mass shooter was taken in alive after killing ten people, while Jennings, who never killed anybody, was given a death sentence for outstanding warrants.

CMPD is leading the investigation of the shooting, however neither CMPD nor the US Marshals have released any details. Historically, CMPD officers have gone unpunished for their killings and brutality against the people.

Tribune encourages its readers to donate to Jennings’ funeral fund organized by his family.

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