KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The family of 25-year-old Amaree’ya Henderson is demanding justice while preparing to bury their loved one over Mother’s Day weekend.
“What was taken away from me was my only son that I can never get back, but I just want you all to know he was an intelligent individual. He just loved our family; he meant a lot to us,” said Henderson’s mother, Pauletta Johnson.
Two weeks ago on April 26, Kansas City, Kansas police officers pulled Henderson over for an alleged traffic stop.
Henderson’s family said he was making deliveries for DoorDash, along with his girlfriend, when he was stopped.
The details of that stop, as well as the interaction that took place between Henderson and police, are being kept tight-lipped for now, but it ended with Henderson being shot to death.
Some in the Kansas City, Kansas community are now demanding the Department of Justice investigate the city’s police department, which one person called “deeply flawed.”
Wyandotte County Criminal Defense Attorney David Grummon attended Thursday night’s rally in front of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.
He called on the community to contact the mayor, commissioners, and lawmakers to demand the DOJ investigation. “[We need a] Patterns and Practices investigation to determine if the whole department has a pattern of violating Constitutional rights, discriminatory policing, and profiling.”
Meanwhile, attorneys for the Henderson family said they have yet to learn the name of the officer involved in the shooting, and they are still waiting to observe body camera and dash camera video from that night.
“Amaree’ya’s civil rights were violated. His life was unjustly taken,” said Attorney Kay Harper Williams. “Amaree’ya was shot by this officer against police policy. There’s a specific prohibition against shooting into a vehicle when the occupants are not shooting at the officer, and when the vehicle itself is not a threat to the officer’s safety.”
For the first time Thursday, the public got to hear from Henderson’s family. His mother, Pauletta, and sister, Paulina, addressed the media as well as the dozens who gathered to support them.
Paulina Johnson became visibly emotional when talking about her beloved brother.
“I would say he was my protector,” she said. “He always looked after my mom, our younger sister, and me.” Her brother was an uncle to her two-year-old son, who will now have to learn to live in a world without his favorite person. “Since the incident my baby asks, ‘Where is Uncle YaYa?’ And I don’t know what to say.”
FOX4 has learned Henderson’s funeral will be Saturday, May 13; just one day before Mother’s Day. Pauletta Johnson will now spend her Mother’s Day weekend attending her only son’s funeral as she tries to cope with her harsh new reality.
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“What I will tell you about my son is that he was very goofy; liked to cook, and family oriented. [He was] a ball of life, a ball of light, and he always left love behind. There’s never been a day in his 25 years of life that he’s disappointed me.”
Williams updated reporters Thursday about being able to observe the body camera video. She said she’s put in several requests to see it, along with the family, and that she expects the request to be granted on May 28 or May 29.