Protesters say shooting of Ripley man was racially motivated

Two Ripley police officers shot and killed Ceasear Cooper two weeks ago because they say he failed to stop at a seatbelt checkpoint and then tried to run over officers with his car.

But one group is calling this a racially motivated murder.

Protesters chanted "murderer" as they marched from where Ceasear Cooper was shot to the courthouse in the town square.

A group called the Commission on Religion and Racism says two Ripley police officers, Joe Bennett and Andrew Criner, murdered Ceasear Cooper.

The community is calling Cooper's death unjust and they say they know why police did it.

"It was because he was dating a white woman," says protester Ashley Allen.

But Police say they shot Cooper because he failed to stop at a seatbelt checkpoint, then tried to run over several officers.

"Didn't justify 10-12 shots to kill the young man," says one protester.

Protestors are calling for the District Attorney to indict and prosecute the two officers.

Protester Melvin Dewalt adds, "we don't want to just give them a smack on the wrist and just let them go. We want something to be done about it."

The TBI is conducting the investigation but it could be months before they have answers.

Ripley Police would not talk with us on camera and instead referred us to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Right now the TBI says they're still interviewing witnesses.

Stay tuned to Action News 5 for updates on this developing story.