Examining the facts when a black man is killed by police

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From New York to South Carolina to Cleveland to Ferguson, it's happening: black men die at the hands of police. The nationwide problem is front and center because of what the recording devices almost every American now carries: their phones. But what about the hundreds of cases where there is no video?

Sometimes authorities want you to believe things as they did not happen. Some witnesses want you to see things as they wish they would have happened. When there is no video, who do you believe? That exact incident happened in Detroit.

In April, a Fugitive Task Force went into a Detroit home, looking for Terrance Kellom. Kellom died at the hands of a law enforcement agent. But that's how it ends, let's go back to how it started.

The task force went into the home searching for Kellom. The 20-year-old was accused of putting a gun to a pizza guy's face and was wanted on robbery charges. After they entered the home, an agent said Kellom dropped through a hole in the attic and was armed with a hammer. Kellom's father says his son was unarmed and was assassinated. There is no video.

Who to believe?

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office decided to believe the officer and ruled in favor of the agent. That means no charges will be filed.

In the current climate in America, it is important to say that the federal agent is also black, as is the prosecutor.

"Of course black lives matter. All lives matter. But you know what else matters? Credible facts. That's what this case is all about," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said when announcing her decision.

Who to believe?

The Americans with Charlie LeDuff went to Kellom's home to talk with family members. They said he didn't hold a gun to anyone's face and wasn't armed with a hammer. They said he was wanted because of probation problems.
"The police had been looking for my son on the other side of town for violation of probation," Kevin Kellom, Terrance's father, said. "First, they came to the door and asked me if I had a son named Terry. I told them no, I don't have a son named Terry. I told them, 'Sir..' They said, 'Your son Terry here?' I said, 'No my son Terry's not here. I don't have a son named Terry.'"

Kevin goes on to say his son was in the attic but was scared. he said his son walked out with his hands in his pockets and pulled his hands out. That's when he says the police started shooting. He said he was rushed off into a different room and could only hear what happened.

As for the part about him dropping from the attic, the family attorney says Terrance couldn't have possibly fit through the hole. However, evidence shows his clothes and body were coated in drywall, insulation, and wood from the attic. And the hammer was spotted with his blood, according to the evidence.

Who to believe?

Kevin says he doesn't misremember what happened; he says he knows what he saw. He also thinks the circumstances of the officer's race are a reason this story isn't getting the attention that stories in Ferguson and Baltimore received.

"If it was a white shooting down my son? Yup, I do (think it would get more attention). I do. I do because - I'm not racist or nothing, but that's what people look for when you get a killing like that. They look for it to be a white officer killing a black man. This wasn't no white officer. This was a black man killing another black man. That's what's hard for me to accept. I'm used to hearing - you see the news - a Caucasian officer shoot down a black man, but when you hear the news about a Caucasian man doing wrong - got a warrant out for his arrest - he always get arrested, don't he? He don't get killed," Kevin said.

Who to believe?

The fact is more than twice as many white people die at the hands of police than black people. Another fact is all lives matter. Black lives, white lives, cop lives.