Her son and now her first cousin have been killed by law enforcement, so she and others have planned a march and vigil for Friday night to remember Corey Mobley and demand answers from officials.
“We’re actually gathering because we find ourselves again coming together in a time such as this awful tragedy, pulling ourselves together for grief and amplify our voices in the murders of our children,” said Natasha Clemons, a leader of the Rodney Mitchell Foundation, mother to Rodney Mitchell and first cousin to Mobley.
Mobley, 38, was shot and killed by a Manatee County Sheriff’s deputy during a pursuit Tuesday night. During a press conference Wednesday, Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells said Mobley apparently was not carrying a gun at the time of the shooting, but deputies and at least three witnesses reported hearing Mobley tell the deputy, “I have a gun for you (expletive)” several times.
The news of Mobley’s death was “horrifying” for Clemons, who already had lost her son, Rodney Mitchell, in a deputy-involved shooting in 2012 in Sarasota County.
“Corey isn’t just a friend, he isn’t just my African-American brother, he’s my first cousin, so it hit close to home. And a piercing of some sort that once again that I just can’t. It makes me angry but yet strong,” Clemons said. “Enough is enough. I’m not sitting down until something is done.”
In a release announcing the vigil and march, organizers described Mobley as a “father, an employee at The Ringling School of Art, a person many knew as kind, helpful and a church-going man.”
Clemons declined to go into more detail about Mobley, out of respect for the family as they mourn their loss.
“I can tell you he was brought up with love,” Clemons said.
The Rodney Mitchell Foundation and Black Lives Matter Manasota organized what Clemons said will be a peaceful march and vigil for Friday night to remember Mobley and others killed by law enforcement.
The group will meet for the march and vigil in the parking lot of the DeSoto Square mall near JC Penney at 6:30 p.m.
“We also respect their right to peaceful protest. We have been transparent throughout this investigation and will continue to be transparent. Everything we do will at one point become public record and everyone can see exactly what we did,” Sheriff Wells said when reached by phone Friday.
He added there was no new information to release but said his office will continue to actively investigate the shooting.
“We’re still actively investigating along with the homicide detectives, Professional Standards Unit and the State Attorney,” Wells said. “Once we’re completed (with the investigation), the State Attorney’s Office will review the investigation as well.”
Officials are still looking for the gun Mobley said he had, and the name of the deputy involved in the shooting has not been released, but he has been placed on paid administrative leave.
March organizers from The Rodney Mitchell Foundation and Black Lives Matter Manasota are demanding answers to those questions from officials.
The incident stemmed from a call from a Marathon gas station at 2927 Cortez Road in Bradenton after a 911 caller reported a man beating a woman in the parking lot. Deputies learned Mobley, who was later identified as the man from the parking lot, had driven off and was found heading south on U.S. 41 near Pearl Avenue, according to the sheriff’s office. He took off when deputies tried to stop him, but was spotted again just before 9:30 p.m. and took off running.
A K-9 found him, and that’s when Mobley said he had a gun, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputy fired a total of four shots – two after Mobley put his hands in his waistband saying he had a gun, and two more after Mobely again said he had a gun, Wells said Wednesday. Mobley was taken to a hospital, where he died.
“We are working on this case like we would work any homicide investigation and will continue to do so,” Wells said.
Mobley has previously been charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of marijuana and possession of a new legend drug without a prescription, according to a Bradenton Herald report. After pleading no contest to the charges, he was placed on probation and successfully completed the Drug Court Intervention program in 2014. He also had previous arrests for trespassing, open alcohol container and driving with a suspended license.
About the vigil
The group will meet for the march and vigil in the parking lot of the DeSoto Square mall near the JC Penney at 6:30 p.m. Friday.