BLACK VOICES

Detroiters Protest Immigration Officer's Fatal Shooting Of 20-Year-Old Black Man

04/29/2015 04:52 pm ET
Steven Westbrook

DETROIT -- Protesters exchanged cries of “no justice, no peace” at a Tuesday rally for Terrance Kellom, a 20-year-old black man fatally shot by a federal immigration officer earlier this week.

A couple hundred people gathered at the corner near Kellom's home on Detroit's west side to protest his death, which they said was unjustified. Participants waved signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and other slogans to drivers of passing cars, many of whom would honk in response. Those close to the Kellom family gathered on their porch while children played in the yard.

Community leaders urged peace and called for criminal charges. “Terrance Kellom will have justice," Ron Scott, Detroit Police Coalition Against Police Brutality founder, told the crowd. "We will not stop until he has justice and this neighborhood can be free.”

terrence kellom

Photo at Tuesday's rally by Steven Westbrook.

On Monday, a fugitive task force with officers from multiple agencies arrested Kellom at his home on Detroit's northwest side, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Click on Detroit. Kellom had skipped parole for a prior conviction and was wanted in connection with an armed robbery. The group of officers were let into the house voluntarily, where Kellom was upstairs.

Over the course of the arrest, an ICE officer, who has also been identified as black, "felt that he was in imminent danger because the suspect was advancing on him in possession of this hammer," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told the Detroit Free Press. Craig said the officer used deadly force "to overcome the suspect's actions."

The agent has been placed on administrative leave. He has not been named by officials, but the Detroit News and Free Press identify him as Mitchell Quinn, according to the two papers' independent anonymous sources. Quinn, a former DPD officer, took the job at ICE in 2008. Earlier that year, he was accused of holding his service weapon to the head of his then-wife, according to the Free Press.

Many at the rally questioned why an immigrations officer would be involved in the arrest of a Michigan resident. ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls wrote in an email to The Huffington Post that ICE officers are involved in a range of task forces nationwide.

"Our participation leverages the agency’s manpower, expertise and jurisdiction to help fight crime," he said.

DPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the task force.

kellom

A July 2013 booking photo of Terrance Kellom provided by the Michigan Dept. of Corrections. Michigan Dept. Corrections via AP.

Terrence's father, Kevin Kellom, who was at the home when officers arrived, disputed the official account and told the crowd of protesters Tuesday that his son was not holding a hammer or another weapon when he was shot.

“They assassinated my son,” he told the group.

Kevin and others at the rally said Terrance, a father himself, was shot 10 times. An autopsy ruled his death a homicide and established that he died due to multiple gunshots, though an exact number was not given.

detroit ice

Kevin Kellom, center, stands with a group during a rally Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Detroit. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio.

Bobbie Davis, a member of the neighborhood association for Franklin Park, where Kellom's home is located, told the crowd that her organization was trusting the police to find the facts.

“But we’re going to hold [officials] accountable,” Davis said. “We’re asking the powers above to come and speak to the community leaders and this father here and give him some answers on what happened and why this was so pressing that you had to come in here with 0-to-5-year-olds on both corners." Two daycare centers are located in the vicinity of Kellom's house.

terrence kellom

Photo by Steven Westbrook.

Pastor Maurice Hardwick agreed with Davis in his remarks to protesters, adding that they wouldn’t “be tricked to causing civil unrest and violence.”

“I think we are in a perfect position to set precedent,” Hardwick said. “We’re not going to act ignorant. We’re not savages. We’re going to stand in unity as men and women, and we’re going to demand results.”

“The protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore are not ignorant or savages,” a woman shouted in response shortly after. “They are angry.”

terrence kellom

Photo at Tuesday's rally by Steven Westbrook.

Baltimore’s protests over the death of Freddie Gray came to a head after his funeral Monday, which took place shortly after Kellom was killed. Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died from a spinal injury he sustained while in police custody.

Along with peaceful protests, some looted and committed arson in Baltimore Monday. In Detroit, those who gathered for Kellom made frequent reference to the Gray riots, discussing whether to push for a peaceful alternative or to use action to draw attention to other incidents of police-involved deaths around the country.

“Riots are irrational. But shooting someone 10 times who doesn’t have a gun is just as irrational," an activist who goes by Chani the Hippie told the protesters Tuesday.

terrence kellom

Photo at Tuesday's rally by Steven Westbrook.

ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Kary Moss said in an emailed statement Tuesday that Kellom’s death raises concerns over whether ICE officers are properly trained to take part in criminal investigations.

"The use of excessive force by police -- and the resulting tragedies that citizens experience, especially in communities of color, as a result of their interactions with law enforcement -- are endemic across this country and must stop," she said. "The first step in interrupting this cycle must be urgent reforms in how police and communities interact and the de-militarization of police departments across the state."

Multiple agencies are examining the incident, including the Detroit Police Department, which is conducting a criminal investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said she was closely monitoring the investigation.

terrence kellom

Photo at Tuesday's rally by Steven Westbrook.

After their series of speeches Tuesday, protesters marched a mile on residential streets to the Detroit Institute of Technology College Prep High School. Neighbors watched and took photos from their porches; protesters cheered when a small group left their house to join the march. A DPD officer said there were about 20 cops present throughout the event and were there to escort the march and make sure it proceeded safely.

Before beginning the walk, protesters joined hands and prayed together. Detroit Police Commander Todd Bettison stood among the demonstrators.

"Lord, we don't want to rest in peace. We don't need no peace when we're dead," he chanted in unison with protesters. "We want our peace now."

terrence kellom

Photo at Tuesday's rally by Steven Westbrook.

Also on HuffPost:

  • Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Demonstrators climb on a destroyed Baltimore Police car in the street near the corner of Pennsylvania and North avenues during violent protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Gray, 25, who was arrested for possessing a switch blade knife April 12 outside the Gilmor Homes housing project on Baltimore's west side. According to his attorney, Gray died a week later in the hospital from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man dances in an intersection, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • Baltimore Sun/ABACA
    A Maryland Transit Authority patrol car burns at North and Pennsylvania Avenues on Monday, April 27, 2015, Baltimore, MD, USA. Photo by Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: People run as smoke and tear gas is thrown during a protest for Freddie Gray near Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: People stand with their hands up as officers move toward them near a CVS pharmacy near West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue during a protest for Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A man throws an object at officers during a protest for Freddie Gray near Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A protestor yells as a CVS burns near West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue during a protest for Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A man runs in front of officers during a protest for Freddie Gray near Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Officers pepper spray people near West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue during a protest for Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: Officers look for people throwing objects at them near West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue during a protest for Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • The Washington Post via Getty Images
    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 27: A man who was pepper sprayed has his eyes washed out near West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue during a protest for Freddie Gray in Baltimore, MD on Monday April 27, 2015. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man, center, shields himself after being struck after a march to City Hall for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A protestor, left, fights with a bar patron outside of a bar near Oriole Park at Camden Yards after a rally for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Police detain a man after a march to City Hall for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Two men are on the ground after being struck after a march to City Hall for Freddie Gray, Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Men carry items, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A man dances in an intersection, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 27: Fire Fighter attempt to put out a building that was set on fire during riots in Baltimore, USA on April 27, 2015. Protests following the death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered while in police custody have turned violent with people throwing debris at police and media and burning cars and businesses. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Baltimore Sun/ABACA
    Looters empty the CVS at Pennsylvania and North Avenues during riots on Monday, April 27, 2015, Baltimore, MD, USA. Photo by Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM
  • Baltimore Sun/ABACA
    An injured police officer is carried away by his fellow officers on Westbury Avenue in Baltimore during riots on Monday, April 27, 2015. Photo by Erica Green/Baltimore Sun/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM
  • Baltimore Sun/ABACA
    A member of the Nation of Islam stands between protesters and police at North and Pennsylvania Avenues where riots broke out on Monday, April 27, 2015, Baltimore, MD, USA. Photo by Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM
  • Baltimore Sun/ABACA
    A protester with a stolen police vest taunts Baltimore police officers on Pennsylvania Avenue during riots on Monday, April 27, 2015, Baltimore, MD, USA. Photo by Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM
  • Baltimore Sun/ABACA
    Police with shields face a man near the subway station at Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, MD, USA, on Monday, April 27, 2015. People threw rocks at police and members of the media near the mall during riots Monday afternoon. Photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this frame from video provided by WJLA, people gather near a store Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Rioters plunged part of Baltimore, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars ablaze and throwing bricks at officers. (WJLA via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Baltimore police officers detain a demonstrator after the funeral of Freddie Gray, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Baltimore police officers respond to demonstrators after the funeral of Freddie Gray, Monday, April 27, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A police officer walks by a blaze, Monday, April 27, 2015, after rioters plunged part of Baltimore into chaos, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars ablaze and throwing bricks at officers. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A demonstrator raises his fist as police stand in formation as a store burns, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A boy throws a brick at police, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this frame from video provided by WJLA, smoke rises from a store Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Rioters plunged part of Baltimore, torching a pharmacy, setting police cars ablaze and throwing bricks at officers. (WJLA via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS