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SBI says meeting with family followed standard practice

Officials with the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) say that a meeting with the family of a teen injured in an arrest by the Troy Police Department followed standard practice.

The SBI, along with the Pike County District Attorney’s office, met with the family and their attorneys Friday. Kenneth Glasgow, family spokesman, said Friday the meeting didn’t give the family any new information.

“SBI’s standard practice is to meet with at least one member of the immediate family in all its ‘use of force’ type investigations, if at all possible,” said SBI officer Gregory Carpenter in a statement released Saturday. “These meetings are to: introduce the family to the SBI representative thereby providing the family with an SBI point-of-contact, explain the investigative process to the family, and address questions and/or concerns of the family. In this case, an attorney representing the juvenile required, in writing, that all communication from SBI to the family be made through the attorney’s office. SBI complied with this request and awaited a date and time that agreed with the family and their attorneys.”

The family revealed the teenager as 17-year-old Ulysses Wilkerson III within days of the incident, posting photos of his bloody and swollen face to social media, which quickly circulated.

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr called the use of force “reasonable and necessary,” saying Wilkerson resisted arrest after fleeing from officers and reached toward his waistband as if going for a gun. Officers later found a gun on the path they chased Wilkerson down, Barr said.

The city quickly handed the investigation of the incident over to the SBI. Since then, the family and other protestors have called for the department to release body cam footage of the incident and for answers to the family.

“It is understandable for members of the family and other concerned citizens to have questions,” Carpenter said. “It is SBI’s responsibility to collect, report and communicate all related facts in a properly legal manner so that the criminal justice system is best equipped to render a finding. SBI does not condone any premature releases of information that could jeopardize the rights of all involved parties and/or undermine the course of justice.

“SBI welcomes more interaction with the family and the juvenile through their attorneys, as needed to ensure the family is kept as informed as possible, and to ensure that all related facts and evidence are documented.”