Friends, family remember Kenneth Walker 10 years after his death
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Ten years ago, an officer-involved shooting left an innocent man dead and a community divided.
The death of Kenneth Walker gained national attention bringing civil rights activist like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton to Columbus.
It was December 10 2003, just before 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night, when Walker was shot and killed by then Muscogee County Sheriff's Deputy David Glisson.
It all started out with a traffic stop of the wrong car. The dash cam video shows officers from the Muscogee County Tactical Special Response Team easing up on an SUV heading southbound on I-185 on that cold December night.
Walker and three others were riding in a gray Yukon XL, where we're told Walker was in the back passenger seat.
"Before my car could come to a complete stop, people couldn't actually get out and also verbally telling you to get out and physically snatching you of out of the car," said Warren Beaulah, Walker's best friend.
Warren Beaulah, 49, was in the driver's seat.
"I'm kind of tearing up now just talking about it," Beaulah said.
Beaulah says he and Walker were best friends.
"It was like we always mirrored each other and when I went to West Georgia he would come visit me and when he was at Florida A&M, I visited him. We were best of friends."
Walker was shot once in the head with a sub-machine gun at close range by Deputy David Glisson.
"I said somebody got shot --because the other guy was on my side and I heard Darryl say they shot Kenny and I said, oh lord."
Beaulah says the commotion took place as they were on the ground. Walker was eventually taken to the Medical Center. The other men were handcuffed taken in for questioning.
"Question, question, question us until 1 or 2 in the morning and then they just told us we can go," Beaulah said.
During the four hours of interrogation is when Beaulah found out that his childhood friend had died. They all were devastated, he said.
Walker, who was his mother's only child, was a friend, husband and father of a then 3-year-old daughter.
"If it was cold outside and you didn't have a coat-- would give you his coat if you were hungry and you didn't have money. He would give you his last dime. He was one of the most nicest genuine person that I ever met."
Glisson was fired about two months after the killing. He was never indicted and didn't serve any jail time, but Walker's family died receive settlement.
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