By Robert J. Hansen
Sacramento, CA – Family, friends and activists are demanding answers from the Reno Police Department after officers shot Isaiah Herndon three times on November 5th, 2021.
The former mentee with Sacramento nonprofit, Voice of the Youth (VOY) is in critical condition at a Reno hospital and is about to undergo his sixth surgery according to Nicole Singleton, Herdon’s sister.
Singleton was able to visit her brother at a Reno hospital on Monday.
She says the sergeant overseeing the case will not release any information as there is an ongoing investigation.
“A sergeant called me later the day after my brother was shot and told me he was alive but that he can’t discuss anything with me,” Singleton said.
Singleton said while she was visiting her brother, he wrote one thing on the whiteboard.
“They tried to kill me,” Herndon wrote.
A source close to the family who talked to the sergeant told Singleton that her brother is not being charged with any crime but charges are being discussed with the local district attorney.
Singleton says she wants to know what happened and that her brother was harassed by police in the two years since living in Reno.
“I want to see it. I don’t know if I want to take their word for what happened. I’d rather see a video,” Singleton said.
Witnesses told Singleton the police shot her brother from outside of his apartment.
“When I heard about Isaiah I was shocked and frustrated because it doesn’t seem to matter what occupation we have, where we go,” Berry Accius, VOY founder said. “Black men in this country are being hunted down.”
Accius wants to know what Herndon did to be nearly killed and the cause for this excessive force.
“To learn about it going on two weeks and to have no information, again, speaks on the lack of transparency, the lack of accountability and the responsibility the Reno PD has on allowing the public to know what happened,” Accius said.
Accius has known Herndon since 2012 when Isaiah was in high school.
“I’ve seen him grow up,” Accius said. “He’s just a young man trying to figure it out like everybody else.”
Accius doesn’t understand why Herndon was shot from outside his apartment.
“These are the things they are confusing,” Accius said “Where is the bodycam footage? What was happening where they had to shoot him from outside?”
The Reno Police Department told ABC 8 Reno that they responded to an apartment in the 200 block of East Grove Street at Wrondel Way at about 10:40 p.m. on reports of a domestic disturbance and a shot fired in a home.
“The story doesn’t make sense and I am angry they’ve once again attempted to kill another Black male without any probable cause,” Accius said. “We demand answers now.”
No one else was involved according to police.
Reno police have not responded to inquiries at the time of publication.
The Sparks Police Department is investigating the incident.
“It’s been 12 days with no answers from the Reno Police Department. We demand answers and we demand the officer’s body cam,” Accius said. “They are completely silent.”
Accius said this incident is another example of why there needs to be federal legislation mandating all police officers in the United States need to be wearing body cameras.
“I am angry that we keep on going through the same thing and that these issues with policing in America have not stopped since George Floyd and his murderer was convicted,” Accius said. “It keeps happening because there is not a national mandate of accountability across the board.”
Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist.