NAACP supports independent investigation

Posted at 11:31 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 23:31:02-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- The pressure from the Fort Pierce community on investigators in St. Lucie county continues to grow, as residents continue to demand more answers surrounding the shooting death of Demarcus Semer.

Semer was shot and killed by two Fort Pierce police officers, whose names have still not been released.

The Florida Chapter of the NAACP is now adding its support to have an independent investigator on the case and to have the officers’ names released.

Representatives with the NAACP hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday, attracting more than 100 Fort Pierce residents, police and some city leaders.

They discussed why they want also want to see an independent investigator, such as the Department of Justice, on the case.

“If we didn’t know any better, it smells of cover up,” said Tallahassee Branch NAACP President, Dale Landry. “We’re demanding full transparency… There’s absolutely no reason why the state attorney should not be releasing the names of the officers that were involved,” Landry said.

Semer’s former basketball coach was among the residents who spoke passionately to the NAACP representatives. “Only 21-years of age and they shot him dead! They killed that boy just as sure as we’re standing here!” said Mark Hadden.

Hadden says he’s been working with teens in Fort Pierce for decades, wanting to help them stay out of trouble. “I try to give them something to do. A goal. A dream,” Hadden said.

He says Semer was one of his more promising athletes.

“What’s hurtful to me is the fact that here’s a kid that did everything right. He didn’t have a record, he was a real joyful kid,” Hadden said.

Now, he worries other youth will get the wrong message.

“What do you say to them? Here’s a kid that did everything right. And [police] still found a way to kill him,” Hadden said.