PALMDALE – Two days after he was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies, Darrell Logan Jr. was remembered by more than 100 friends and family members at a candlelight vigil and press conference Saturday in front of his home.
Many wore t-shirts that had Logan’s picture on it; others wore t-shirts spray painted with the words “R.I.P. nephew,” “R.I.P. son” or “R.I.P. Darrell.” Several lit candles, embraced each other, and cried loudly as family members took turns on the microphone, giving their take on the events that transpired Thursday morning, which ended in the death of Logan.
“They’re coming into our homes killing us,” said close family friend Cristine Smith.
“This is no accident by the officers,” said Logan’s aunt, Paulette Gardner. “This is an execution.”
The Sheriff’s department has said little about the incident, citing the ongoing investigation. A statement from the Sheriff’s department Thursday said deputies responded to a call around 11:48 a.m. from an informant, who stated that gunfire was heard from the residence [Logan’s home]. When deputies responded to the scene, they verbally commanded the occupants to exit the garage, but the suspect refused to exit, the report states. When deputies entered the garage they were confronted by an armed suspect and a deputy-involved shooting occurred, according to the report. The Sheriff’s Department has not released the names of the officers involved in the shooting or identified Logan as the man who was shot.
Logan’s wife, Krystle Washington, was at the house during the incident and gave her side of the story to The AV Times Friday. Read it here.
Saturday, family members said the officers should have tried other methods of getting Logan out of the garage.
“They could have used any [other] kind of tactic, because I know my son could be talked down,” said Logan’s mother Arzenia Ratliff of Lancaster. “They have tear gas, all kinds of methods, instead of killing people. They do not want us up here.”
Gardner said she believed when officers got the call they pulled up the names of the residents in the home they were responding to and checked their records. She said she believed this factor contributed to officers shooting her nephew.
“When they look at the track record of someone who’s been incarcerated several times, they make a decision…” Gardner said. “I do believe that the officers came here with the intention to do just what they did.”
Family friend Stan Muhammad urged the crowd to use the incident as a means for change in the community.
“We have to use this as a catalyst to come together,” Muhammad said. “Let’s change the climate and let’s dedicate it to Brother Darrell and all those who have lost their lives to senseless violence.”
Merit Commission Chairman Darren Parker and The Community Action League founder V. Jesse Smith also spoke at the press conference.
“I think the worse injustice that we can endure is to have law enforcement take the life of an individual unnecessarily,” said Smith.
The vigil ended with a prayer led by Smith.