Family of dead South Carolina teen disputes police ‘suicide’ claim

Civil rights advocates and the family of a 19-year-old former Army recruit fatally shot during a June 20 encounter with a South Carolina police officer are questioning the claim by law enforcement that his death appears to have been a suicide.
The officer is on paid leave as the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigates the shooting of Denzel Curnell in Charleston, who died after a gunshot wound in the head.
His death adds to "the sad and horrifying list of young black men shot by or in the presence of law enforcement in our community," the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said in a statement.
Police have released few details about the incident. They described the case as a "possible suicide," saying there was no evidence that the officer, Jamal Medlin, fired a weapon.
But Curnell's relatives are asking how the teenager, who was left-handed, could have shot himself in the right side of his head, said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston NAACP branch.