The New Black Panther Party marched on Thursday in Hearne, Texas, to protest a police offer’s fatal shooting of a 93-year-old woman, reported KBTX-TV in Bryan.
The crowd chanted, “What do we want? Justice!” as they headed to the Hearne Police Department.
Pearlie Golden — known in the neighborhood as Ms. Sully — was reportedly waving a gun around outside her house about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officer Stephen Stem asked Golden to put down the weapon and then shot Golden. Multiple witnesses told KBTX they heard at least five shots fired. Golden was pronounced dead at a hospital later that night.
While city council is holding a special meeting 1 p.m. Saturday to discuss the matter, Hearne Mayor Ruben Gomez said Thursday he’ll recommend Stern’s firing, the Associated Press reported.
Stem was placed on paid administrative leave, KBTX noted, adding that the Texas Rangers, Hearne police, the county district attorney are investigating. This is his second fatal shooting as a Hearne officer. Less than six months after joining the force in 2012, Stern shot and killed a man who was firing a gun from a car; a grand jury didn’t indict him and cleared him of wrongdoing.
Quannell X, head of the New Black Panther Party’s Houston chapter, said they will protest in front of Officer Stem’s house if city officials don’t fire him.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, considers the New Black Panther Party a hate group: “The New Black Panther Party is a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety reportedly refused to renew Golden’s driver’s license, and her nephew on Tuesday was attempting to take her keys from her — that’s when Golden apparently became upset, grabbed her gun, and threatened her nephew, who then called 911, KBTX reported.
“Even if she did have a gun, she is in her 90s,” Lawanda Cooke told KBTX. “They could have shot in the air to scare her. Maybe she would have dropped it. I don’t see her shooting anyone.”