The mother of a man fatally shot by Durham police has spoken out, asking for respect while the family grieves the death of Kenneth Lee Bailey.
Bailey’s mother, Louise Pratt, issued a statement Saturday via Walltown Neighborhood Ministries. According to the statement, Bailey grew up in Walltown. The twenty-four-year-old was shot by Durham officers Wednesday in the Club Boulevard neighborhood after police went there to arrest him for violating a pretrial release curfew.
Since the shooting, she writes, “I have learned that people tried to explain my baby’s life and death by running a background check. They reported things that were not true as if they had happened. They made him look like a violent gangster who deserved to die.”
Here is Pratt’s full statement:
On the afternoon of Wednesday, February 15th, my son was killed by Durham police officers. Since I got the news, I haven’t been able to find words. I told [my] friends that I couldn’t take calls from reporters.
Since then, I have learned that people tried to explain my baby’s life and death by running a background check. They reported things that were not true as if they had happened. They made him look like a violent gangster who deserved to die.
Our family and the SBI are both listening to stories about what happened on Wednesday and trying to get to the truth. We ask that anyone who has information share it with us, not with the media.
But in the meantime, I want to say what I know. Kenny was a young man who loved his momma. He loved his aunts and uncles and cousins and friends. He loved his two babies, who lost their father on Wednesday.
We are grieving because my baby was taken from us, and we ask the media and community to respect that.
We are making funeral arrangements and will announce plans for a vigil in the community where Kenny was killed next week. Thank you.
Bailey was awaiting trial for an August armed robbery. After posting a $250,000 bond, he was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and be home between seven p.m. and seven a.m. According to court records, he broke that curfew three times (once by forty-nine minutes and once by eleven minutes). The third violation was on February 14, after Bailey reported he was taking a family member to the hospital at six thirty p.m. When he didn’t return home by two a.m. the next day and did not respond to calls from the monitoring service, an order for his arrest was issued. According to court records, Bailey had been at a hotel. One of Bailey’s two sons turned five on February 14.
The Durham Police Department says Bailey fled and pointed a gun at officers while they pursued him, prompting them to fire. Several neighbors who were nearby at the time of the shooting have told the INDYBailey was shot in the back of the head while fleeing.
The police department is expected to release its initial five-day report this week.