By Lynn Jones – Walking up to the makeshift memorial for Vernell Bing, Jr., bystanders witness a bevy of flowers, balloons, and signs expressing the tragic effects of the unexplained police shooting two weeks ago. On May 22, Vernell Bing, Jr. crashed a car into a police officer’s vehicle, after leading police on a 3.7 mile high speed chase. Unarmed, Bing limped away from the incident, yet Officer Tyler L. Landreville shot Bing five times with one of the bullets fatally entering his head.
Family members and community activists continue to mourn Bing’s death and ask questions as to why did the officer have to shoot him in the head.
“Whatever happened to shoot to harm and shoot to kill?” said SCLC spokesman Ben Frazier.
According to Jacksonville Sheriffs Office Public Information officer Christian S. Hancock, “JSO officers are trained to shoot to stop the threat, if the officer pulled the trigger then there was a risk involved.”
Currently officer Landreville has enlisted the help of an attorney. Florida law provides the officer rights just like any other citizen involved in this type of homicide. Whether the suspect is shot by police officers, or a suspects shoots at police, it definitely leaves a lasting impression”.
Bing leaves behind a nine month pregnant girl friend, Chryshona Daniels. With tears in her eyes Chryshona tried to smile, “they did not have to shoot him in the head. This was a tragedy, we have witnesses and the police are out here every day looking at us. Yes, I’m sad and can’t imagine my life without him. We have many questions.” Cryshon is employed with a local customer management and information corporation as a customer service agent. Every night since the incident, Cryshon has been pledging with the police on answers to the shooting. The thought of raising a young child by herself is scary and her ability to explain the shooting to her unborn child has yet to sink in.
Two local pastors were also at the shrine site to pay their respects. Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin of Potters House and Embassy Fellowship Church Pastor Garland Scott, both were compelled to offer assistance. “I wanted to stop by and find out if the family needed assistance. We are of the righteous and as Pastors we have to leave our churches and dig deeper into the ills of this community. We have to leave the church and make our way to every side of town.” said Bishop McLaughlin. Pastor Scott, affectionately known as the “pastor in the hood” is the pastor of Embassy Fellowship located on East 8th Street in the heart of Springfield. “I’m here in this community every day; the church is a part of this neighborhood. When that officer pulled the trigger, anyone could have got shot. Kids play freely in this neighborhood. We try our best to reach out to the young people and their parents and be a friend to JSO.” Currently Pastor Scott has been in touch with the Sheriff’s office, working on an explanation on the shooting and next steps for officers and citizens to unite.
Local activists, civic and church leaders are rallying and leading daily vigils at the scene of the crime. Pictured with the victims girlfriend Cryshon Daniel is Pastor Garland Scott and Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin. KFP Photo