Slain suspect's family demands answers

6:18 PM, May 12, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - The family of slain police suspect Terrance Franklin, 22, is angry and demanding answers from police about the young man's death on Friday.

Franklin was shot to death in a confrontation in which two Minneapolis police officers were shot, as well.

Walter Franklin, father of Terrance, said he was not allowed to see his son at the crime scene on Bryant Avenue South, even to identify his son's body.

"I want to know what happened to my son," said Walter Franklin. "No one is telling me. No one is saying anything. No one let me in on the crime scene to identify."

"We want the truth and we want Terrance," said Shiela O'Neal, Terrance's mother. "I have not seen him either."

The parents stood inside the New Beginnings Baptist Tabernacle church, where Pastor Ian Bethel said he had baptized Terrance Franklin. Walter Franklin is Chairperson of the Deacons. Shiela O'Neal is Chairperson of the church foundation. Other family members defended their dead relative.

"Terrance was not known for not carrying no guns out here," said Willie Walton, Terrance's Uncle. "This story has been on the news for two days and they are only telling one side of the story."

Several family members expressed dismay at the police for what they regard as hiding information. "No one wants to step up and talk to either one of us," said John Walton, Terrance's Uncle. "We were asking questions. They trying to keep something hushed? Hide something? Or are they trying to straighten out on their own behalf?"

"When someone is killed in a police-related incident, the police department must exercise everything they can do to have a proper relationship with the family," said Bethel. "This family is here because it has not happened."

Bethel insisted that the family has cooperated in "every which way," but it has not been reciprocated.

Most emotional at the meeting in the church was Terrance's older sister, Shay. Through her sobs, she defended her brother. "I just feel like my Mom and Terrance's Dad deserve some answers. We all deserve some answers. Terrance was a good kid and he did not deserve this. He knew the Lord. He respected his Mom and Dad. He loved his Mom. This is the worst Mother's Day present anybody could give to anybody. He did not deserve this at all!"

Shay had to be supported by other family members at times as she spoke to reporters.

For their part, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau issued a statement Saturday saying "We are doing our best to be transparent and share information as quickly as possible, and I ask for the public patience in allowing us the necessary time to thoroughly review and investigate."

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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