Family of deputy involved shooting victim demand answers and justice
COLDWATER, Miss. (WMC) - Nearly two weeks after a Tate County deputy-involved shooting left 50 year-old Keath Cole dead, his family still await answers from the investigation.
“We suffer this as a community, not just as a family,” said Patrick Lumumba, COF of the Black Liberation Movement.
Members of the local NAACP chapter and the Black Liberation Movement joined the family at this church in Downtown Coldwater, speaking out to the broader black community.
“We are asking the church, the black church, to step forward,” Lumumba said. “We are asking the black politicians to build some testicular fortitude and operate in your capacity of the people who put you in office and protect the black community.”
Cole was wanted for domestic violence and was pursued by a Tate County deputy who was servicing a warrant. Cole pulled his car over and fled on foot into a wooded area off of Highway 4, where he was shot twice by a Tate County deputy in late September.
Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance said in an interview with Action News 5 in late September that the body camera footage from the scene matches his deputy’s story, that Cole had his hand close to his waistband, giving the deputy reason to believe he had a weapon.
“When I viewed the body camera footage, a couple of hours later, it was consistent with what he told me,” Lance said in the interview.
Cole’s niece, Nichole Butts, has also seen the body camera footage, which she says lacks audio for a good portion of it, and has a different take on what happened.
“He didn’t have on a shirt,” Butts said. “You could see his waistband. He did not have a gun on him at all. He didn’t make any movement to make that officer shoot him.”
As of now, this remains an ongoing investigation with the MBI.
What’s more is the woman connected to Cole’s domestic violence warrant, 37 year-old Danielle Cooke, was found dead in her home a few days after Cole’s death.
Sheriff Lance said Cooke had been dead for days when her body was found, and Cole has been named a suspect in her death investigation.
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