Family of man shot by police meet with NOPD leaders, question shooting

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 20 at 10:32 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

GENTILLY, La. -- Wendell Allen's family met privately with the New Orleans Police Department on Tuesday to learn more about the investigation.

The 20-year-old man was killed inside his mother's Gentilly home last week.

"In our case, we have a young man who was shot in his home, as he was only clad in a pair of blue jeans and tennis shoes and he was shot through the heart. So it collectively breaks all of our hearts," said attorney Lon Burns who is representing the Allen family.

Two days after Wendell Allen's funeral, the 20-year-old's family met with Superintendent Ronal Serpas, the independent police monitor and NOPD's Chief of Internal Affairs inside Police Headquarters.

Police say Officer Joshua Colclough fired one gunshot, killing Allen after a search warrant was executed at his mother's Gentilly home on March 8.

Now a criminal investigation is underway.

"We're still collecting evidence, we're still collecting statements, we're still analyzing those statements. Once we know an action, we'll be sure to inform the publicly and certainly the Allen family," Serpas said.

"How are we to know and have confidence in the police that they are following the policy if they claim the policy is secret," said community activist Jacques Morial at a public meeting in the Marigny on Tuesday night.

The event was hosted by SilenceIsViolence where activists and community members met to talk crime. The group's executive director, Tamara Jackson, is concerned about two deadly, NOPD officer-involved shootings that happened just a week apart.

"We have some grave concerns because both of those shootings were in the 3rd District and we trying to find out the logistics surrounding it. But of course, excessive force in our opinion was not necessary," said Jackson.

As for the Allen family, their attorney says for now all that can be done is wait.

"We are waiting for a thorough and complete investigation by the New Orleans Police Department to be turned over to the District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro," said Burns, who believes his client's case will eventually be forwarded to a grand jury.

Burns said no plans -- at least for now --- are in the works to file a lawsuit against the NOPD on behalf of the Allen family. He said police expect to wrap up their investigation in less than a month.

Serpas told Eyewitness News that Officer Colclough is on desk duty until the police department's criminal investigation is over.

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