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Community asks for transparency, public officials to speak after Madison Planet Fitness shooting

The sheriff's office said there is no timeline on when this investigation will be completed.

Posted: Oct 31, 2019 6:16 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2019 6:46 PM

Frustration is growing in the City of Madison and across the county. People say they want to hear directly why police shot and killed Dana Fletcher.

Sounds of silence and short emails are the only things coming from the city hall and investigators.

On Thursday, Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner sent WAAY 31 a statement that said, "We are anxious to complete the investigation so that we can answer any and all questions and give the public a complete understanding of what happened and how everything transpired."

People in Madison County say that's not enough. The sheriff's office told WAAY 31 it doesn't want to cause any issues with the investigation by going on camera. Investigators are still interviewing witnesses about the shooting outside Planet Fitness.

People in Madison County say they they want to hear from anyone with the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Madison Police Department or Mayor Paul Finley about the shooting that killed Fletcher.

"They should have been talking. I mean, even the first day, somebody should have said something," said Charlotte Grays, who lives in Madison County.

Terrance Haygood, who also lives in the area, says the perception from the public is not good right now.

"People is not talking and it's making the community, like, skeptic, and just somebody come forward and say something. Maybe, it will be a lot better than it is," he said.

On Thursday, the sheriff's office said investigators are combing through all video related to the shooting frame by frame to ensure no detail is missed, and said there is a lot to process and document.

"How did all of that happen?" Grays said.

With laws that allow police to keep body camera video private and a refusal to talk, some people are suspicious and point to a lack of transparency.

Fletcher’s family also isn’t talking, but a woman who claims to be his wife posted on Facebook there’s no reason police shot him.

"They did that in front of his child, and she's telling one story and they're telling another story," Grays said.

The Facebook comment posted hours after the shooting claims Fletcher was unarmed, but a video on Facebook shows that might not be the case. "He's got a gun. He's got a gun," can be heard in a Facebook video.

Haygood says if law enforcement won't speak publicly, he wishes the mayor of Madison, Paul Finely, would.

"He needs to be the main one. He needs to come front and just try to get some peace and justice, man, try to get some closure on this case," he said.

The sheriff's office said there is no timeline on when this investigation will be completed. The sheriff's office won't speak publicly until it's complete, and, in Alabama, there are no laws or regulations that force anyone to talk.

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