Friends and family of 47-year-old Darrell Banks walked through an alley on the 2400 block of Cleveland Street on Sunday for a candlelight vigil. It’s the same place where Banks was shot and killed by a Philadelphia Police Officer Friday night.
“They didn’t have to do that to my boy,” said the man’s mother, Marie Banks. “He was just walking home from a b-day party, my other grandson’s birthday party.”
A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police tells NBC10 that plain clothes officers were investigating an armed home invasion robbery on Cleveland Street in North Philadelphia on Friday. Banks, who according to investigators matched the description of the suspect, allegedly took off running. Police claim he pointed an object at the officers when they tried to stop him. An officer shot Banks once, striking him on the left side. He died at Temple University Hospital a short time later.
Police tell NBC10 they did not recover a weapon from banks. They do claim however that they found a small amount of drugs at the scene.
“He had no gun on him,” said Terra Banks, the man’s niece. “He had his cell phone!”
Banks’ niece tells NBC10 he leaves behind ten children and six grandchildren.
“We want justice,” said Terra. “We want the cop who did this to be brought to justice!”
Internal Affairs is currently investigating the shooting.
Police say Banks had 21 prior arrests including narcotics, theft and assault. While his family does not deny this, they also say he was turning his life around.
“I’m devastated that the police made him out to be a monster to the media,” said Terra. “My Uncle did have a checkered past but he did a complete 180. No jail, no probation, no arrests.”
“He was a father,” said Marie Banks. “He was my baby boy.”