A member of Ricky Ball’s family told The Dispatch Friday morning that they have nothing to do with a planned boycott of Black Friday shopping in response to Ball’s Oct. 16 shooting.
Zatanna Ball, Ricky’s cousin, said the family has no connection to the protest.
The Dispatch first learned of the boycott on Wednesday through Ward 4 Councilman Marty Turner. Turner posted in support of the boycott on his Facebook page and, when contacted, said it was part of a grassroots movement to keep the shooting from fading to the background.
Zatanna said the family has no plans to boycott Black Friday because it won’t do anything to expedite the investigation in the aftermath of Ball’s shooting.
“That’s not going to help at all,” she said. “That’s just something that (Turner’s) trying to do. I don’t know what’s wrong with him — he’s trying to make himself relevant to this case and he’s not, at all. Nobody in their right mind is going to boycott a sale where you’d save money. We are not doing that — we have to live here just like everyone else.
“We just want to leave it alone and let justice take its course,” she added.
Ball, 26, was shot by Columbus police officers on the night of Oct. 16. The incident occurred near 15th Avenue North. Ball was a passenger in a car officers pulled over. Authorities say he fled the scene, was Tased and ultimately shot twice, though authorities have not said where he was struck. He later bled to death at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle.
Police say a 9mm handgun and marijuana were found near where Ball collapsed. The 9mm, authorities say, had been reported stolen from a CPD officer’s home in August.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.
There were three CPD officers involved: Canyon Boykin, Johnny Branch and Yolanda Young. They were each equipped with body cameras, but none activated the devices prior to or during the shooting. Boykin was fired by the city council. Branch and Young were suspended. Authorities have not said who shot Ball.
Police Chief Tony Carleton resigned in the wake of the shooting.
Turner told The Dispatch Tuesday that he didn’t have any intention of making himself relevant to the case itself.
“I’m involved because it happened in my ward and I know the family,” he said. “It’s close to me. I have nephews that walk around at night and I don’t want anything to happen to them. I’m not trying to make myself relevant to the case — all I ever did was participate in anything they ask me to do. They’re calling me. I’m not calling them.”
Turner insisted that he spoke to Ernesto Ball, Ricky’s cousin, about the boycott. The Dispatch attempted to reach Ernesto after speaking to Turner Wednesday.
Zatanna, who said she is Ernesto’s sister, said she hadn’t heard anything about the boycott from him.
“The first time I heard of it was my boyfriend told me about it last night,” Zatanna said. “I saw my brother (Thursday) when we ate dinner together and he didn’t mention it so he probably didn’t know himself.”
Friday morning, family member Betina Ball denied Zatanna’s accusations to The Dispatch. She said some family members are supporting the boycott.
“She does not speak for the whole family,” Betina said, of Zatanna. “We are very thankful of everything Mr. Turner has done for our family.”
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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