Group Petitions for Investigation of Trinidad Shooting

By Theola Labbé-DeBose
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 10, 2009; 5:57 PM

A national advocacy group has collected more than 500 signatures from District residents on a petition demanding a full accounting from authorities of the shooting death last month of Trey Joyner by U.S. Park Police.

Volunteers have been circulating "Justice for Trey Joyner" petitions on behalf of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, a grass-roots group founded in 1991 by the African People's Socialist Party.

The campaign, which calls Joyner's death a "murder," marks the first instance in which a national group has spoken out about the shooting in Northeast Washington.

"Today it is Trey Joyner. Tomorrow it could be any of our sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, husbands or wives. These assaults on the black community must stop!" said Chioma Oruh, leader of the newly formed D.C. chapter. Joyner was black.

Joseph Persichini Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, said today that the investigation was continuing and that "once complete, results will be turned over to the United States attorney's office for review."

Joyner, 24, was shot June 8 in the 1200 block of Holbrook Street NE in the Trinidad neighborhood after Park Police officers in plain clothes had received a tip about a man with a gun. Authorities have said that there was a struggle as they tried to arrest Joyner and that he was shot. Park Police said they found a gun at the scene but have declined to answer questions.

At a town hall-style meeting last month attended by Joyner's family, residents angrily questioned Persichini and Park Police Chief Salvatore Lauro. Other police officials were questioned at a separate community meeting. At that meeting, Lauro said that six Park Police officers have been placed on paid leave, and the federal agency, which has powers to police throughout the District, will not work in the Trinidad neighborhood while the FBI investigation continues.

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