GARY, Ind. (CBS) — A family was questioning the Gary, Indiana, police Tuesday, after a man was shot and killed at the hands of officers.
As CBS 2’s Eric Cox reported, the man who was shot dead was holding a weapon in his lap. But he was also a licensed conceal and carry gun owner.
Four rows of loved ones sat together Tuesday night at the Gary Common Council meeting – seeking answers surrounding Rashad Cunningham’s death at the hands of police.
After two and a half hours of waiting, one of them finally got to touch the podium.
“My family has felt a bit disrespected. We’ve been here for quite some time waiting to be heard,” said Ivan Simmons, Cunningham’s uncle.
Cunningham, 25, was shot and killed during a traffic stop at East 23rd Avenue and Kentucky Street close to 3 a.m. Saturday.
As the officers approached a parked car with Cunningham and two others inside, the officer’s weapon went off – ending the father of five’s life.
Gary police declined to provide any more information – including the officer who fired the shot, or whether anyone had been placed on administrative leave.
“A wall of silence has covered this situation with Rashad,” Simmons said. “We haven’t heard from anyone.”
Police said Cunningham was holding a gun when the shooting happened. His family told CBS 2 he had a concealed carry permit.
Simmons got a standing ovation during an emotional speech at the Council meeting.
“He had a Second Amendment right to carry a weapon,” Simmons said. “His pursuit of happiness is gone. He was trying to provide for his children, who he loved. They will never see their father again.”
Moments later, another family member approached the podium – only this time, she was out of turn.
After an intense exchange, the council president grabbed his gavel and gave the family member a few words of his own.
After more waiting, Heather Fox – Cunningham’s girlfriend and the mother of his youngest son – also spoke.
Plenty of anger poured out after another night without answers.
“We will be back!” Fox said. “No justice, no peace!”
Gary police and the Lake County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Department are conducting an investigation.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told the crowd Tuesday night that she will push for an investigation when the “time is right.”