SARASOTA – Tuesday marks one year since 24-year-old Rodney Mitchell was killed during a traffic stop by Sarasota County deputies. The State Attorney's Office cleared those deputies of any wrongdoing, but Mitchell's family says they believe otherwise.
Tuesday morning they held a peaceful rally to bring awareness to the case. Dozens of people gathered at the corner of U.S. 301 and Main Street in Sarasota, holding signs and chanting "no justice, no peace."
On June 11th of 2012, two Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies opened fire on Rodney Mitchell when they say he accelerated towards them during a traffic stop. Mitchell was killed by the gunfire.
Mitchell's mother Natasha Clemons says she's not satisfied with that explanation and feels her son was killed unnecessarily. She says even though the deputies involved were cleared, and their actions found to be justifiable, she feels it was an excessive use of force.
She says Rodney was being pulled over for a simple seat belt violation and she says he was a good person, a good father, and she refuses to believe he posed any sort of threat to those deputies. “The legacy that Rodney has left behind is a positive legacy, no violence. It's time for the officers to start using what they're taught when they're trained. They're not making sound judgements, they're shooting to kill. Violence is not the answer, and that's my goal to stop the violence across the world.”
Clemons says she doesn't plan on giving up her fight and she'll continue holding peaceful rally's in hopes a federal investigation is opened.