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'This was unjust' | Union County man's family pleads for accountability after he's killed by sheriff's deputy

Malcolm Trieste Staton, 29, was shot and killed in mid-March during a traffic stop. His family is demanding more answers from law enforcement.

MONROE, N.C. — A month after Malcolm Staton's death, his family continues to demand answers and justice after he was shot and killed by a deputy, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.

In mid-March, the Union County Sheriff's Office said one of their deputies shot and killed Staton during a traffic stop for a drug search at the Sunny Food Mart on Walkup Avenue in Monroe.

"Malcolm was a father," Ne Ne Blakeney, one of Staton's family members, said. "He was a really good father. And he mattered, you know. He mattered."

On Wednesday, his family and friends held another protest in Monroe outside of the county courthouse.

"What happened -- was murder," Blakeney added. 

Union County deputies have not given many details since the shooting is still under investigation, but the sheriff's office said Staton was parked in the Sunny Food Mart's parking lot when deputies closed in.

Deputies said Staton used his car to hit three patrol cars, trying to flee the scene. That's when the sheriff's office said a deputy opened fire. 

His family believes what happened was wrong and unjust. 

"They attacked a man, they surrounded a man -- they shot a man who was unarmed, no drugs who was in the car with his kids and family," Blakeney said. "He's no longer here -- not only that -- they shot him in the back of the head twice."

In a statement on Wednesday, The Union County Sheriff's office said: "The investigation into this incident is still with the NCSBI at this point. The UCSO will continue to cooperate with the SBI as they collect all the pertinent facts and details during their external, unbiased investigation."

"I would like for them to acknowledge that this is not OK," Blakeney said.  "That this was unjust."

The State Bureau of Investigation is over the case since it involves a sworn officer. Their investigation is still ongoing, according to a spokesperson.

Contact Hunter Sáenz at hsaenz@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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