Earl Pinckney aka Leek Moss: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Earl Pinckney, also known as Leek Moss. (Facebook)

A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man was shot dead by police Sunday night at a home in Harrisburg, authorities say.

Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marisco said Earl Shaleek Pinckney, also known as Leek Moss, was holding a knife to his mother’s throat when he was killed by officers, PennLive reports. But Pinckney’s mother disputes the authorities’ version of events, saying her son was not holding a knife to her throat, but just had his hands around her head.

“You shot him right in the heart,” Thomas told PennLive, adding that they didn’t use a Taser. “I never saw the cop that hit my son. At the end of the day, I would like to look him in his face and ask him why did he shoot my son.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. His Mother Says He ‘Never Had a Knife’ or Anything in His Hands

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Earl Pinckney, also known as Leek Moss, with his mother. (Facebook)

Police responded to the 2330 Green Street home about 9 p.m. after a child inside the house called 911 and said his uncle was trying to hurt the child’s grandmother, District Attorney Edward Marisco said Monday at a press conference, according to PennLive.

Kim Thomas said her son and other relatives got into a fight.

“We had a little fight, argument like families have arguments,” Thomas told PennLive. “They were arguing. They got a little rustling. I stopped it. I told everybody to get out of the house. I hold my son. I was talking to my son. I know how to control my son. He was calming down. Everything was getting fine.”

Marisco said four responding officers went to a second-floor bedroom where Pinckney was holding his mother at knifepoint, with the weapon at her throat. He said the officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he didn’t comply.

Marisco said Pinckney’s mother tried to break free from her son’s grasp, but failed. An officer then fired a single shot, killing Pinckney, Marisco said.

Pinckney’s mother told a different story.

In an emotional interview with PennLive, Thomas said her son was not armed. “No, no,” she said. “He never had a knife.” She said he had nothing in his hands.

You can watch the full interview below:

The family also issued a formal statement about the shooting:

Last night, Harrisburg City Police shot our son, Earl Pinckney, during a domestic disturbance call. Following the incident, a criminal investigation was initiated during which local detectives immediately interviewed some members of the family, while others will be interviewed in the coming days.

Today, Dauphin County District Attorney, Ed Marsico, called a press conference to discuss the shooting and made statements regarding Earl’s conduct which allegedly precipitated the shooting.

While we understand that the criminal investigation into the shooting is in its preliminary stages, and there are still many more facts to be gathered, we want to be clear that we disagree with the preliminary statements made during the press conference as they directly contradict the eyewitness account of a family member who was at the scene prior to, during, and following the shooting.

We expect that law enforcement will follow its processes in conducting a full investigation based upon all the facts, and issues its findings in a timely fashion. But while that process is underway, we will be diligent in correcting any misinformation that does not accurately reflect the facts and circumstances that lead to our son’s death. We ask for our City’s prayers of comfort and consolation as we grieve his loss, and make clear our desire that peace and constructive dialogue between our community and law enforcement prevail as we begin the long and arduous task of searching for answers. No further comments will be made at this time.

Police did not comment on Thomas’ claims.


2. The Officer Who Shot Pinckney Was Placed on Paid Administrative Leave & Has Not Been Identified

The officer who fatally shot Pinckney has not been publicly identified. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting, WHTM-TV reports.

Authorities said the officer has worked for the Harrisburg Bureau of Police for a year and a half. He has previous experience in another department, officials said.

Harrisburg Police Chief Tom Carter asked for “calm and understanding” as the facts of the case are investigated, according to WGAL-TV.


3. Pinckney Was the Father of a 2-Week-Old Daughter & Said on Facebook ‘Being a Dad Is the Only Thing That Makes Me Happy’

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Pinckney with his daughter. (Facebook)

Pinckney, known as Leek Moss, was the father of a 2-week-old baby, according to his Facebook page.

Just hours before his death, Pinckney posted a photo with his daughter sleeping on his chest and wrote, “Being a dad is the only thing that makes me happy.”


4. Police Knew Pinckney Was Bipolar, His Mother Says

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Earl Pinckney, also known as Leek Moss. (Facebook)

Pinckney’s mother, Kim Thomas, told PennLive her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and police knew of that.

She said there was “no excuse for them to come in and shoot him. He wasn’t dangerous. He didn’t deserve this.”

According to PennLive, Pinckney faced misdemeanor charges including criminal mischief, simple assault and terroristic threats in 2015. He was sentenced to two years of probation on the simple assault charge.

The charges all involved domestic incidents with his mother.

PennLive obtained court records from the previous incidents involving Pinckney, including one from December 2015 in which he was accused of slamming his mother into a wall and threatening to kill her with a knife.

In August 2015, he was arrested on charges that he broke two of his mother’s car windows and her front window. He was put on probation in May and ordered to continue mental health treatment and take medication, according to the court documents.

In July 2015, Pinckney was accused of threatening to “commit a crime of violence with the intent to terrorize another,” and his mother was listed as the victim.

Police have not commented about whether they knew of Pinckney’s bipolar disorder diagnosis.


5. Thomas Said ‘the Violence Has to Stop’ & Called for Activists to Help

Kim Thomas told PennLive that she is asking “activists” to get involved in the case and has said she will do whatever she can in the future to help mothers dealing with the violent death of a child.

“The violence has to stop,” she told PennLive. “This needs to stop in Harrisburg …. It happened to me. I know how it feels.”

According to WGAL-TV, an emotionally charged crowd gathered at the scene, yelling at officers and demanding answers.

The city has scheduled a community meeting for Tuesday night at the Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church to discuss the shooting, Fox 43 News reports.

“I grieve with the family and express my sincere regret at the tragic events that unfolded Sunday in our city,” Mayor Eric Papenfuse said in a statement. “I know Chief Carter and his police officers share the pain we all feel as we try to console the family and unite our community.”

37 Comments

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37 Comments

AmaRylis

Not saying anyone deserves to die, but this was the 4th time the police were called to that residence for domestic disputes between he and his mother. He pleaded guilty back in May for assaulting her and threatening her with a knife in hand during a prior dispute. He has also busted out her car windows and tried to forcibly remove rings from her fingers. As a mother, I can’t imagine losing a child no matter what’s going on but 2 different relatives confirmed that he was armed with a knife during this last call to 911. I’m not sure what the police are to do when they’re called several times to the same residence and the mother is a dangerous situation over and over.

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Anonymous

If the police don’t shoot and he stabs his mom, they would sue the police. If they do shoot to save the mom, they will sue the police. Can’t wait for the day when the police stop responding to the black neighborhoods. The carnage will be unbelievable! Rapes, murders, robberies………….. it will sure be fun watching.

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Frostee da Knowman

Shut your big lips up before I slap them off your Gorilla looking face. LOL and get back to cleaning my house and ironing my clothes! Your break is over!!

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Anonymous

…….aka Leek Moss? That pretty much says it all! Just another church going saint who was brutally struck down by the white man!

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chantaey

Every jealous sub-human cracker will die. Everything evil ever writen or thought by you coward, gay honky ass mutants is going to return in your face and you will know who is BLACK GODS.

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Anonymous

It is WRITTEN not WRITEN. But then again I realized you were in a hurry to spew out your black racist rant so I guess I’ll let it slide this time.

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Anonymous

Jealous? Jealous of what? Being the bottom race on the human totem pole? Or maybe jealous of being the race that ALL other races dislike the most? Or maybe being the race with the lowest IQ? Pity you yes…….jealous of you? LOL!

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Johnny

Hey chantaey, what we need to return to is slavery and put you negroes back into the filth that you look like. It sure sounds like black kkk.

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Unknown God bless

All this racist comments where is that going to get you right is right wrong is wrong no matter what color you are nobody knows the truth but the people that were in the house when the investigation is done then the truth will be out there until then everyone throwing there racial comments around is doing a absolutely nothing Ima pray for u all

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Laraye

that’s real rude and racist. grow up! have nothing better to do? go make some money loser

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Lindy Wade

Johnny that was totally uncalled for. It was rude and nasty. Is that the way you would want to be treated? If not you owe her an apology. Time to do some growing up here. Just because obama is a racist and keeps problems going doesn’t mean WE THE PEOPLE GAVE TO BOW DOWN TO HIM!!! He is a fool and he is evil don’t let his garbage ruin America please.

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mlcorey

Make all the threats you want. Bottom line, Blacks will never take over or really achieve anything. You’re exterminating yourselves on a daily basis. The reality is, you’re just to stupid.

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mlcorey

Saying White people re jealous of Blacks is hilarious. You don’t even have enough sense to pull your pants up.

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Anonymous

First off y’all are disrespectful and racist. Whoever commenting is white I bet . Worried your kind and not ours thank you!

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Anonymous

I’d like to see a law passed where if you call someone a racist and there is no proof that the person is racist, then you can sue them for slander. That would shut black people up from yelling “RACIST, RACIST, RACIST” every 5 seconds. Calling someone a racist 20 years ago meant something. Now most people know that the person yelling RACIST is the racist.

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Flint

Call me every name in the book, you can call a White person. It wouldn’t make me for a millisecond, want to be a shitface negro.

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Garry Crittenden

White MF always want to be calling someone racist when y’all history proves who is racist, it’s funny how all the racist comments are coming from people who is anonymous what are you scared people might know who you are, your nothing but a bunch of cowards and pussy’s hiding behind anonymous

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Lindy Wade

Flint you and Garry need to stop. This is how problems escalate by name calling and insults to each other’s race. Please stop. If you don’t want to be judged by God in heaven for this then you need to stop. Remember God does not recognize color we are all equal in His site. Either race can be nasty and hateful and it’s just not called for. BE NICE TO EACH OTHER!!! Please.

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thethinkingmetalhead

You know the mother is lying her ass off, You assholes are putting this crap out before the facts are out, hope the officers have video of the knife, if they do they should sur the mother & arrest her, they should also sue YOU.

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Anonymous

LOVE IT!!! Just remember black people it’s not your fault. No matter what you do its the fault of mean white people. Just keep repeating that and everything will be just fine.

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Black KKK

hey white devil cracker number 1 why dont we enslave you mutant species and bring you to the filth you look like slavery forever!!!!!

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rollo

she wasn’t crying-that was a bullshit act. No tears, no snot. nothing. The tissue she was holding was a prop. She got beat by her son repeatedly.

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TT

Somethings odd here. The first picture of his mother appears to be an older lady compared to the younger looking woman in the video. The woman in the first picture has glasses and does NOT look like the woman in the video with no glasses. So what gives here? Which woman is his mother?

Next, the lady in the video gives an accusation, implying the police didn’t do their job because they didn’t respond to the “first time” someone called them about this same fight. She continues with, “Shaleek THEN comes back in …”, this indicates that when this argument started someone called police. They didn’t show, or didn’t show up quickly enough. Then, Shaleek comes back into the house and the arguing continues and then someone again calls the police, which is what the mother wanted in the first place, or so it appears by her own statement that the police didn’t show up the first time they were called. So she knew the police were called and expected some help.

Also, I notice that she keeps her eyes closed during the majority of her comments. Typically, closing your eyes while telling of events indicates that the person is intending to deceive, as most honest people will keep their eyes open in an attempt to make sure the person or people they are talking to are paying attention.
So, there are some questions here.

However, once again the main question really is, WHY did one of the officers feel the need to use DEADLY force? By “deadly” force I mean the use of a gun. Why not use a taser or some other non lethal weapon? Tasers have advanced greatly over the years are now very compact, some even smaller and lighter than hand guns. Why are these not used more often? In instances of domestic disputes the officers can first come in with non lethal weapons, and then switch to deadly weapons if the situation calls for it. I don’t yet see why that officer felt a need to use deadly force in this case. THAT is the real question that needs to be answered.

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