Lexington-Fayette NCAAP releases statement in shooting death of Desman LaDuke

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — For the family of 22-year-old Desman LaDuke, the inexplicable pain of loss continues to linger.

LaDuke was shot and killed on October 22 during an incident with Nicholasville police — one his family calls ‘a mental health crisis.’

The local chapter of the NAACP is now demanding justice and transparency in the case.

“The minute the emergency response team showed up, they came there for a reason, and it wasn’t to get him out of there,” says Melissa Marks through tears, as she remembers her nephew.

LaDuke is remembered by his loved ones as a family man with goals and ambitions, but also someone who dealt with a lot of pain and grief throughout his lifetime.

“He lost his mother, very young to a car accident,” adds Kahnan Leslie, LaDuke’s brother. “Then he lost his brother a few years ago to a drowning here in Kentucky, he’s had a lot of loss in his life.”

In the midst of his own pain, LaDuke was always looking for ways to make sure no one else suffered.

“Because all he did was want to take the pain away from everybody to the point where he couldn’t take it anymore,” adds Leslie.

LaDuke was laid to rest over the weekend. Meanwhile, the family continues to demand justice for the 22-year-old shot and killed by police.

On Monday, the Nicholasville Police Department released a statement saying negotiators trained in mental health issues responded, and that after LaDuke pointed two handguns at officers, was shot.

Not only is the family trying to get answers. The Lexington-Fayette NAACP is also demanding transparency and a request for a different third party to investigate.

“If the protocols are followed to the letter and if they will not follow up to the letter, what can be done to ensure that they are and if they were followed to the letter and he ended up with the murder of this young man should not the shooter and the police department be accountable equally for the death of this young man?” says Whit Whitaker, the president of the Lexington-Fayette NAACP. “We want the Kentucky State Police to step aside and to bring forth an independent investigator,” says Whit Whitaker, the president of the Lexington-Fayette NAACP.

As questions continue, the NAACP says change need to happen in police agencies.

“If they are not equipped to handle mental health situations, then there needs to be a mental health liaison who is connected with the police department who shows up at these crisis interventions each time,” adds Whitaker.

For Desman’s family, only pictures, videos and memories remain.

“I’d like for them to remember his smile, his laugh and his crazy hair,” added Leslie.

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