WARREN - Black community leaders said Wednesday they're convinced the city is properly investigating Saturday morning's shooting incident in which a police officer killed a young black man.
Leaders with the Greater Warren Youngstown Urban League, Trumbull County NAACP and local churches met with Warren Mayor Doug Franklin Monday.
''We are remaining patient and urge the community to be patient,'' said Thomas Conley of the Urban League.
Conley said the leaders agreed to wait for the completion of an investigation by Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which was called in immediately after Patrolman Michael Krafcik killed 24-year-old Taemarr Walker of Warren about 2 a.m. near the intersection of Risher and Palmyra Road S.W. after firing more than one shot.
Besides the ongoing BCI investigation, Franklin also told the leaders that the U.S. Justice Department also was informed of the incident.
The Justice Department has been monitoring the city's police department since the mid-2000s and helping police officials develop a use-of-force policy after a series of police brutality complaints by residents, some of which led to federal lawsuits.
''The incident itself prompted us to see what steps were being taken,'' said Annette McCoy, president of the Trumbull County NAACP. ''As part of the followup, we need to get the latest information and updates.''
''We're not speculating, and we're not calling this any type of racial problem,'' Conley said. ''We're waiting for the investigations. We sense the community wants answers.''
''What happened the other night does not define our community. Our message to the community is simple. We ask that the community exercises patience, while this matter is under investigation and let it take its proper course. All of the facts and interviews must take place so the process can come to a conclusion,'' the leaders wrote in a news release.
The leaders also said they were concerned that there was no ''hard'' evidence of the shooting Saturday since Krafcik's cruiser was not equipped with a video dash camera that supplies audio and visuals of the episode.
Conley said grant money for training and equipment was forthcoming after the Justice Department stepped in to monitor the police. And he said the ''dash cams'' were part of the extra funding that was recommended since the mid 2000s.
Police officials said Krafcik's cruiser was supposed to be the next vehicle to have the camera system installed.
Walker, who had an extensive history with police and ties to Detroit, died early Saturday morning after he was shot more than once by Krafcik in the remote southwest area of the city.
The officer was dispatched to a report of a crash at the intersection. He found an abandoned vehicle and can be heard on police radio traffic telling a dispatcher the vehicle had gone off the road and slid into a ditch.
Walker arrived right afterward in a separate vehicle. Krafcik is heard on police radio traffic telling the dispatcher that the car is abandoned. Moments later, he called for backup, stating another car pulled up, and that there was a man with a gun inside. He's heard on a recording yelling at the man to put his hands up.
Seconds later, the dispatcher sends out the message to all units, "Shots fired. Shots fired."
Sources have said a woman was with Walker the night of the shooting, but a police report makes no mention of her or any witnesses.