Derek Walker – Durham NC Father Shot By Police After Custody Dispute
Derek Deandre Walker was a 26 yr old Father who was shot by Durham NC police after the young man became distraught one day after a lengthy custody battle in which he lost, then was confronted by police in downtown Durham where he was found with a firearm. As reported by many on the scene, Derek Walker was reported to yell at at police “shoot me, shoot me” right before pointing the gun at officers, at which point he was shot dead. In looking at Derek Walker’s Facebook page, one can clearly see where he was being inundated with significant amounts of emotion and pain at the prospect of becoming a marginalized and lost court ordered non-custodial parent as it was revealed that his last Facebook post stated “Don’t call me and don’t talk to me because I’m not responding. I hope I die very soon and a fast death because this world I live in is sorry.” and “I can’t take [what] my son’s mother is putting me through,” Walker wrote. “She has filled [my son’s] head up with so much false stuff. He has told me I’m a bad father, I’m not a good dad.”, and finally “I’m ready to die because I have no reason to live right now.”
In this article we are going to explore what could easily have prevented this tragedy, as well as explore many of the problems with the Durham County NC Family Courts that likely led to the anguish of this young Father. We will say that neither the Durham NC police or courts are responsible for Derek’s death because it is clear that he chose a bad path in dealing with his pain that we do not recommend, but while the Judge’s in the Durham NC courts are not responsible, they VERY easily could have resolved this custody dispute that was amicable for both parents and children that likely would have led to Derek Walker walking out of court a very happy Father.
Why couldn’t the Durham County NC Family Court Judges just allowed Derek Walker to be a equal parent instead of a marginalized visitor to his children?
This is the central question we ask daily and a sentence that is paramount to this organization existing.
What is ironic in this clear case of police assisted suicide are three things. One, is that our courts and politicians love to throw deadbeat and disinterested Fathers up to the dogs when it can be used at election time, but then when they encounter a Father that is neither deadbeat or disinterested, they routinely court order exactly that. Second, the statistics love to paint an inaccurate portrayal of young African-American Fathers who are thugs, deadbeats, drug dealers, and pimps, yet we have an example tonight of a Father that was neither. Third, one of the reasons the court give us for not allowing Fathers like Derek Walker to be equal parents, is that it causes conflict. I’m guessing the scene of the shooting of Derek puts that argument to rest.
This Man just wanted to be a Father on his own terms, yet once again we have another example of the strangers in black robes continuing to follow antiquated laws and procedures that are causing non-custodial families and children considerable amounts of conflict and anguish. Yet again, we have legislators in NC who refuse to consider equally shared parenting and possibly creating a climate where neither parent is pushed out of their child’s life by the courts, and now we have another parent dead in NC. The Durham County NC courts could have easily empowered both parents in this matter, yet they continue to bury their heads in the sand and continue a century old bias which demands that one parent win while another parent loses in our courts which then sets off two decades of fighting and is directly related to making our children sick. And unfortunately, for Mr. Walker, it has led to a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided is the heavy handed courts gave a crap about families and children. And yes, we say families because this is very much a family issue. I can guarantee you tonight that many people in Derek Walker’s family are hurting. We can guarantee you when Derek’s child grows up to learn about his Father, he/she will likely ask: Why couldn’t my Dad just have been allowed to be a Father and will likely be looking at the other parent who fought hard to be the “winning parent” in the custody battle for those answers.
Again, Why couldn’t the Durham County NC Family Court Judges just allowed Derek Walker to be a equal parent instead of a marginalized visitor to his children? Surely the Judges in this matter prefer that over the death of this parent? Surely the Durham NC police would have preferred that over confronting a emotionally distraught parent in the street with a wish to die right? Surely the other parent in this matter would have preferred to have a equally participative Father in the picture rather than a payment provider correct?
Nope, not in NC. In our State we love to take parents who want to be equal parents and push them to the farthest margins of their kid’s lives via the courts and in favor of furthering an industry that benefits from one side of a family being alienated from their children.
The Durham NC Industry That Flourished As Derek Walker Was Being Shot By Police
Unfortunately, Derek Walker probably did not realize that his fate was sealed long before the custody battle papers were even filed. In North Carolina, we need very marginalized parents paying increasing amounts of child support so that social services programs can keep up with the increasing amounts of goodies custodial parents gobble up in the way of welfare, food stamps, educational benefits, job assistance, daycare assistance, Medicaid, and other programs that get payed for via the Title IV-D system which gives back States money on each dollar they collect in child support. Had Derek been allowed to be an equal Father he likely would have payed little (if any) child support which would have mean a decrease in federal money coming back to the State of NC. Apparently, the State of NC, legislators, and Judges sees this as more important that parents.
Sometime before Derek Walker was shot by Durham NC police, two lawyers made very good money in the dispute leading up to the custody battle which triggered this event, and there was an incentive for Derek and his ex-wife to have fought for 18 years rather than the courts working to end the dispute via equal parenting.
Child support workers in the State of NC represents about 5,000 jobs, and it is their job to normalize the concept that the ONLY good way a non-custodial parent can support their children is via paying the federal government money. Our belief is that the normal way for a non-custodial parent to support their children is via direct financial, emotional, physical, and psychological support and love for their children, and that children having two equal parents goes much further in their success rather than cutting the head off one side of the family. The industry of child support can not thrive unless an entire side of children’s families is marginalized to the role of visitors rather than loving and active parents and grandparents.
Social services is another industry in Durham NC who benefits when one parents loses in the family court because they know the soon to come Title IV-D money will ensure their employment and programs they deliver. If Derek Walker’s child support obligation was about $500, he would have been a tool that helped trigger $500 in federal money that comes back to Durham County DSS and helps to keep food stamps and Medicaid running smoothly.
Without non-custodial Fathers like Derek Walker, an entire industry of lobby groups who work for the groups that benefit from biased family law would have no work.
Activism Needed To Support Derek Walker, His Family, And Other Durham NC Non-custodial Families
- Immediately email Representative Larry Hall ( Larry.Hall@ncleg.net ) and Senator Mike Woodard ( Mike.Woodard@ncleg.net ) of Durham NC and ask them to find out why Derek Walker was denied the opportunity to be an equal parent. In your email to them, include the URL of this article.
- Extensively share this article on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social networks.
- Using the comment section below, leave your most insightful comments on the Family Law system so that others in Durham NC can learn more. This is also a great place to leave expressions of condolences to Derek Walker’s family.
- Email the link to this article to the Herald-Sun asking them to follow up with this on this article and to start asking Judges and Legislators why this system is allowed to continue. They can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join our Mailing list and Facebook page as a Durham County NC non-custodial family and help us build a massive organization of non-custodial family voices in the NC legislature.
The Derek Walker shooting should be a wake-up call to Durham NC non-custodial families from every racial and cultural background, economic status, education, and political party affiliation that the divisive family courts are creating havoc on families and children and that it is time to end the nature of the courts that NEEDS parents fighting in order for one parent to lose, and causes incredible amounts of pain for the parent and family that has to lose.
The tragic shooting could have easily been avoided simply through the empowerment of both parents.
If you are a Durham County NC non-custodial family member reading this article it is vital that you join our organization and encourage the tens of thousands of other families in the county to join our organizations because the simple truth is if this can happen to Derek, it can happen to your family as well.