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Family, community demand justice in aftermath of officer involved shooting

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HAMMOND - Lionell Jackson is out of the hospital recovering and eating through a feeding tube weeks after police shot him in the neck. On Friday, more than a dozen people marched from city hall to police headquarters demanding justice for Jackson.

"They feel as though the administration is not moving fast enough, [that] it's been almost three weeks, [and] we should have some answers," Michael Showers, President of the NAACP Hammond said.

On July 15th, officers entered Jackson's home to serve a warrant. His attorney says he was in his bed asleep and unarmed when one officer fired his semiautomatic rifle, striking Jackson in the neck.

Even in the initial police report, no gun is mentioned. Jackson was released from the hospital after three surgeries and he waits to be taken to jail on drug related charges. We're told officers involved are on administrative leave, as the department conducts an internal investigation. Minimal details have been released to the public.

"It's not what they're saying," attorney Daryl Washington said. "It's what they're not saying. Handling cases all throughout this country, if Lionell did anything to justify these police officers shooting him, they would have already told us why. They would've said they thought he had a gun."

Jackson's mother not only stood by her son's attorney, but asked to file a complaint against Chief Edwin Bergeron for the handling of her son's arrest, as it was the chief's nephew who shot Jackson.

"This has been a stressful experience for me as a mother," Cynthia Jackson said. "Just to see my son, fighting for his life."

"If he wants to cover up his nephew who he raised as his nephew, then there is no way he should be in office," Washington said.

Family, friends, and even elected officials demanding answers. They are planning to protest again next week if the city does not allow an outside agency to investigate or release the body cam footage.

"I am not going anywhere until the person who shot Lionell is held accountable," Washington said. "When I say held accountable, I'm not just saying terminated, I'm saying criminally charged."

A spokesperson for the city declined to comment, other than saying, "Lionel Jackson has been released from the hospital. The investigation is ongoing and investigators are working with Jackson and his attorney to orchestrate his surrender."


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