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Thursday, February 19, 2015

North Carolina Family Launches Campaign Demanding Justice For Son’s Killing By a Local White Pastor

— More than 4,600 supporters join Dolly & Tony Griggs in calling on Attorney General Roy Cooper and US Attorney Thomas Walker to thoroughly investigate and prosecute Pat Chisenhall for killing son, Christian Griggs —

Christian Griggs

Christian Griggs with daughter

Angier, NC — On October 12, 2013, Christian Griggs went to pick up his daughter at his then wife’s family home, as previously agreed by him and his separated wife. Soon after arriving, Christian called his father, Tony Griggs, asking for help. When Mr. Griggs arrived, Pat Chisenhall, Christian’s father-in-law, had fatally shot Christian 6 times, 4 in the back. The state medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Dolly Griggs, Christian’s mother, has started a campaign on i.am.colorofchange.org, a distributive organizing platform run by the national civil rights organization ColorOfChange, calling for North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and US Attorney for the Eastern District for North Carolina Thomas Walker to intervene and prosecute Pat Chisenhall to the fullest extent of the law. More than 3, 500 people have signed on.

The campaign may be seen at www.JusticeForChristianGriggs.org

Dolly issued the following statement: “We demand that US Attorney Walker and NC Attorney General Cooper thoroughly investigate the killing of our son, the misconduct of Harnett law enforcement and prosecutor’s office, and bring Christian’s killer, Pat Chisenhall, to justice. When local leadership fails, it is the responsibility of state and federal officials to step in and ensure fairness, justice, and equity in the justice system. If our family hadn’t raised our voices, local officials would have done everything possible to sweep Christian’s death under the rug. It’s been more than 14 months since Christian was killed and District Attorney Vernon Stewart has made it clear that he will not be doing his job. This delayed and denied justice is completely unacceptable.”

“The North Carolina “Castle Doctrine” does not excuse or justify Christian’s homicide by either the physical evidence, autopsy report, or crime scene. Christian was shot twice in the front and when lying on his stomach, unarmed and defenseless, Chisenhall fired four additional, fatal shots in his back. There is more than enough probably cause for Chisenhall to be charged. Christian is dead and Pat Chisenhall killed him. This case must go before a jury.”

“No family should ever have to go through losing their son and then having to fight for justice. I lost my beloved son. My grand daughter lost her father. It has been 14 months since Pat Chisenhall brutally killed our son and no criminal charges have been brought against him. Due to cronyism and racial bias, law enforcement and the Hartnett County District Attorney Vernon Stewart have refused to hold our son’s killer accountable. In a criminal justice system marked by widespread prejudice, Black families are disproportionately denied justice when they lose a loved one. My family will not rest until we receive the due process that we deserve and Pat Chisenhall sees his day in court of law. We demand a fair and impartial prosecution.”

Despite inaccurate media reports, there was no record of a restraining order in place against Christian. He went to his father-in-law’s house solely to pick up his daughter.

Pat Chisenhall is an influential white pastor in the Angier community.

Tony Griggs

Dolly Griggs