HIGH POINT, N.C. — As state bureau investigators continue to investigate the death of Fred Cox Jr. at the hands of a Davidson County deputy, the calls for charges and justice brought against the deputy grow.
Friday afternoon, roughly a hundred people gathered in High Point on Brentwood Street to stand in solidarity with Cox’s family.
“Fred did not deserve to lose his life,” Cox’s mother, Tenicka Shannon, said as she fought back tears while addressing the crowd.
She stood just a few hundred yards from the doorway where her young son, and father of two, had been killed.
“You could’ve went the other way. Thank you, Fred, for doing what mamma taught you to do,” she sobbed.
On Nov. 8, Fred Cox had been attending the funeral at Living Water Baptist Church on Brentwood Street in High Point.
High Point police said that as the funeral concluded, and crowds of people were leaving the church, several unknown vehicles pulled up and began shooting into the crowd.
Roughly 70 bullets were later found by High Point investigators.
The attorney for Cox’s family, Allen Rogers, explained that Cox was sitting inside of his car when the shooting started. Rogers said Cox got out of his car and ran to the church to help get people to safety.
That includes 12-year-old Tavaris Wright, who later wrote about that moment in a letter to Cox’s mother.
“Fred opened the door to allow this young man and his mother…to go inside the church. That officer shot him five times in the back,” Rogers said.
Cox was the only person who died during the chaos. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office placed the officer on administrative leave, per protocol.
Ten days after the shooting, state bureau investigators released a brief report, which explained some of the initial findings in the case.
It stated that the deputy had been asked to attend the funeral. It was held for a young man who had been murdered, and the hope was that the deputy, if appearing in plain clothes, could help track down witnesses.
The report also states that the deputy observed Cox with a handgun, and that Cox had a handgun next to him when he died. High Point police have also released findings that Cox was known to have gang affiliations.
On Friday, Cox’s mother and the family attorney responded to those allegations.
“That is an allegation that is a lie. It is a lie…They will do anything. They will say anything to make my child somebody that he is not. My child is a hero. Gangs are not heroes,” Shannon said.
Rogers also claimed that the SBI released its report without speaking with Wright and his mother, who reportedly said, “they both will tell you there was no gun.”
A spokesperson for the SBI has said that additional information will be released after the case has been closed and submitted to the District Attorney’s Office. They are waiting for a full autopsy report to be submitted.
During Friday’s rally and march, the crowd walked from Living Water Baptist Church to the Guilford County Courthouse. As they marched, they were joined by Civil Right Lawyer Ben Crump, who has worked several high-profile social justice cases.
The attorney told the crowd, “How can this police officer think that he can kill this hero, and then the department comes to say he was just another negro?”
The attorney also pointed at what he described as video proof to highlight the inequality in the justice system against Black and brown Americans.
“After what happened at the nation’s capital, we have prime evidence that there are two systems of justice. One for Black America and one for white America.”
Cox’s family is planning another protest/gathering outside the Guilford County Courthouse in High Point on Feb. 18, the birthday of Tavaris Wright, the young man who is said to have been saved by Cox.