Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez is defending his department after an officer shot and killed a man two weeks ago.
On July 27, an officer shot Jose Ocampo, 33, after he refused to drop a knife when surrounded by police in front of 806 Park Avenue. Ocampo's family criticized police, saying the killing was not justified.
Lopez is urging patience.
"We have to make sure the full investigation of anything that we do is done," Lopez said. He said police have to ascertain "what actually happened" and he added, "We have to be really honest with ourselves and not try people in the media."
The Clinical Legal Education Program of North Carolina Central University School of Law is representing the Ocampo family.
Friends say Ocampo did not understand what police were telling him as English was a secondary language to him.
The comments came during Durham's annual "National Night Out." It's a chance for police to engage with the communities they serve. Similar events takes place in cities across the country.
"Without the community, we're not going to be able to abate crime. We're not going to be able to make a difference," Chief Lopez said. "That partnership is extremely important. That trust is extremely important."
Durham's South side neighborhood hosted this year's event. It's a neighborhood that's in transition following years of crime. Bulldozers and construction sights are clearing out old, boarded up homes and new homes are on the way.