The mother of a 20-year-old man who was shot by a so-called “passerby” in Kinston, North Carolina, last month is calling for the man to be arrested.
LaToyla Davis, the mother of 20-year-old Krisstyle Cotton, said that on Thursday, October 20, 2022, her son rode his grandfather’s hoeveround down the street from where he lived and stopped and sat under a tree in an empty field on Neuse Road. She said her son told her that he stopped to meditate and listen to music when two men walked up to him. Davis said there were no “No Trespassing” signs where her son was sitting, just a tiny yellow ripped sign.
Davis said her son told her that the two men who walked up to her son did not say anything.
“He said two men walked up and then left,” Davis said.
Minutes later, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Department pulled up and asked Davis’s son, Krisstyle, to leave. She said her son was confused about why he had to leave because it was an open field with no “No Trespassing” signs.
To Krisstyle, he thought it was just the police trying to harass another black man, so as any of us would and is not committing a crime, we would want to know why we had to leave from sitting under a tree in an open field, and there is no “No Trespassing” signs or anything telling us we are not allowed on the property.
“My son was wondering why he had to leave and was asking whose property it was,” Davis said. He was telling them, ‘I don’t think this property belongs to anybody'”.
Davis said the police told her son that it did not matter who owned the property. He had to leave. Davis said the police tried to escort her son off the property, and a struggle ensued. She said she is still trying to figure out what escalated the situation to a physical altercation.
“I do not know if they got violent with him or he got violent with them,” Davis said. “Maybe they grabbed him wrong. I’m still trying to figure out why would he try to fight them off him. What happened to make him act like that, if he acted like that. I want the truth Mr. Gerald.”
Davis said that one of the guys that approached her son the first time before the police came was back when the police got there and started recording the encounter and, at one point, put his phone down and shot Krisstyle in the abdomen.
“The guy was recording it, and he sat his phone down and shot my son, Davis said.
Davis said she was confused about how the sheriff’s deputies saw the man with the gun and did not ask him to leave or put his weapon down.
“They let him shoot my son, they let him leave, they never released his name, and they told me that my son couldn’t press charges on him and that it had to be the district attorney or the sheriff’s office,” Davis said.
What is troubling and concerning is that the man who shot Krisstyle is the property owner. The man was not a “passerby,” as Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram stood his lying black ass on tv and said.
Sheriff Ingram claimed that Krisstyle was “getting the best” of both of his deputies who responded to the trespassing call. He said his deputies wore body cameras, but they fell off during the struggle and could not capture what was happening.
Sheriff Ingram told local reporters he was surprised that his deputy’s body cameras came off.
“The major and I just this past week, we were messing with the cameras and it’s a very strong magnet,” Ingram said. “At some point, if y’all would come by and take a look, I would not have thought that those cameras would’ve come off those uniforms as strong as that magnet is. It’s very strong, but both of them were knocked off of the officers uniforms.”
Sheriff Ingram then lied and said a “passerby” saw what was happening and shot Krisstyle Cotton, believing the deputies’ lives were in danger.
The so-called “passerby’s” name had not been released until now.
The North Carolina Beat confirmed that 36-year-old Dylan Clee Hardison is the man who is alleged to have shot Krisstyle Cotton.
Unbeknownst to Krisstyle, Hardison owned the field across from where Hardison lived.
Davis said she is still confused about why Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office let Hardison shoot her son.
“They did not pull out mace, guns, knight sticks, or anything,” Davis said. “So, if they felt like they were in danger, why didn’t they step back and pull out one of those things?”
Davis said a young lady who rode by and laid eyes on her son told her that her son had his hands behind his back.
“She told me that when she rode by, she saw my son on his knees with his hands behind his back,” Davis said. “She said he wasn’t handcuffed but his hands were behind his back.”
Davis said the lady told her that she was trying to figure out what had happened from the time she drove by and saw Davis’s son with his hands behind his back to him getting shot.
Sheriff Ingram said his officers had some “bumps and bruises” but were okay.
Davis said she went to Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office to get answers, but they kept giving her the runaround. She said that when she did speak to someone, they told her that if the man felt like the officer’s life was in danger, he had a right to shoot her son.
“I spoke to some man who teach the conceal weapon class and he told me that the man had every right to shoot my son if he felt like the officer’s life was in danger,” Davis said. “But, I feel like they didn’t feel like their life was in danger because it was two of them and then the body cams came off of both of them? It just don’t sound right to me and I’m not going to sit here and let them do my son like this.”
Davis said her son was shot in his abdomen and stayed in the hospital for two weeks recovering.
“I’m just glad he’s alive,” Davis said.
Davis told The North Carolina Beat that no one from the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office reached out to her, and she wants to know what happened that day.
“My son is traumatized, and he wants the man who shot him arrested and charged,” Davis said.
Davis said her son told her he was doing what the deputies wanted, but they started grabbing him and getting aggressive. Davis said she told her son he should have left when the deputies asked him to, but Hardison shouldn’t have shot her son, and the deputies shouldn’t have allowed him to shoot her son.
Davis shared photos with The North Carolina Beat of her son Krisstyle Cotton with a tube in him while he was in the hospital.
Davis says she wants the truth to come out, and Hardison arrested for shooting her son.
EMAIL LENOIR COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Matt Delbridge at Matthew.L.Delbridge@nccourts.org and tell him to charge Dylan Clee Hardison.
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