On Wednesday, community activists gathered to request answers in the investigation of the first officer-involved shooting of the year in Greenville County.    

Deputies say they were called out to a home on 3rd Avenue in the Poe Mill community for a disturbance. 

The sheriff’s office, who’s not releasing any information on the deputies involved per office protocol, says Jermaine Massey had a knife when deputies arrived. 

The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed there is dash camera footage, but agents will not release it until the investigation is complete.

Community activists and Massey’s fiance, Tiffany Copeland, say they want transparency in the investigation. 

“We want to know why, why were they here, why did they have to kill him,” Copeland said.

Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis says deputies tried negotiating with Massey for several minutes and even tased him but were unsuccessful.

“They obviously did not want to engage him with lethal options if they didn’t have to,” Sheriff Lewis said. 

Activists say the situation began earlier Monday at a neighborhood corner store when they claim deputies stopped Massey while he was walking home. 

“Profiled him, harassed him,” said community activist Dr. U.A. Thompson. 

The sheriff’s office couldn’t confirm if the stop happened. However, activists suggest that might have been why Massey called 911. 

“If he did call it was not to address a conflict between him and [Copeland] but to address a conflict that happened earlier,” activists Paul Guy said. 

Guy is asking the sheriff’s office to release any video or recordings of the four hour time frame leading up to the shooting. 

“Then you’re able to articulate the mood, the attitude, the conduct of all officers in that particular area,” Guy said. 

He says that will show the entire picture of what happened and give citizens and the family a better understanding of what transpired.  

Activists say they’re taking civil action in the case because they believe it will be more fair than any criminal case. 

Massey’s family will be holding a candlelight vigil at their home on 3rd Avenue at 7:30 Wednesday evening. 

SLED says there were 49 officer-involved shootings across the state in 2017 and five were from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.