Justice for Natheniël Julies: what you need to know about the teen's death

28 August 2020 - 10:18 By Unathi Nkanjeni

The death of a disabled teenager allegedly at the hands of a police officer in Eldorado Park, Gauteng, has sent shock waves across the globe.

Natheniël Julies, 16, died on Wednesday.

Here is what you need to know:

Death 

Julies was allegedly shot by police officers after he allegedly failed to respond to police questioning him. According to the family, he was at a tuck shop buying biscuits.

TimesLIVE reported that Julies died before he was taken to hospital in the back of a police van.

Family shattered

An unidentified member of the family told Newzroom Afrika they were broken.

“My brother was at the shop buying biscuits. Afterwards, he went to the Hillbrow flats to sit with other children and the police came by. They called my brother outside and asked him a few questions but he couldn’t answer them because he was disabled,” she said.

Members of the community marched to Eldorado Park police station calling for answers. They said they felt let down by police officers who were supposed to be protecting them.

Four community members were arrested for public violence after at least three police officers were injured.

Crossfire between police and gang

Gauteng premier David Makhura said Julies was allegedly caught in crossfire between police and a gang in the area.

Makhura said police were responding to a tip-off about stolen car parts in Eldorado Park when Julies was  shot.

“I am very disturbed about the events that led to the passing of an innocent boy,” said Makhura.

Investigation

TimesLIVE reported on Friday that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) would launch an investigation into the teenager's death. Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola said investigators struggled to get to the scene on Wednesday as the situation was volatile.

“When they managed to access it, it was almost impossible to conduct interviews as the community was violent,” she said.

Global news 

The shooting made global news after US musician Solange Knowles added her voice to those condemning police brutality against black people.

“Rest in peace young Nathaniel Julies. Happy birthday beautiful Oluwatoyin 'Toyin' Salau. We are still fighting for you Breonna Taylor. There's such a limit to these words, but we will never forget you. What is justice with all this loss and pain?” Knowles wrote on Twitter.

Media personality Leanne Dlamini also shared a post about Julies: “Rest in peace, brown skin boy. Your life was not in vain. You were no gangster. You were no thief. You were our son and we will fight for you.”

Justice for Julies

The hashtag #JusticeforNathanielJulius made the top trending list on Twitter as many aired their anger and paid tribute to Julies.


subscribe