24 Years After Son was Killed by Police, Mother Gets His Belongings

Demetrius Hill was killed by St. Paul police officer Gerald Vick in 1997 for suspected robbery. 24 years later Marilyn Hill is still working to prove his innocence. 

Tiffany Bui reports:


24 years after her son was killed by St. Paul police, Marilyn Hill got back her son’s belongings.


Demetrius Hill was killed by officer Gerald Vick in 1997 at an apartment complex. Demetrius was 18 years old; the police said he was a robbery suspect that pulled a gun on officers. But his mother questions whether the police report is true. 


Marilyn Hill doesn’t believe her son had a gun. And she doesn’t believe the officer stopped to talk to him, but instead opened fire as her son was opening the door to his grandparents’ unit. She says her father saw his grandson on the ground, but the police told him to get back into his apartment. 


“Seeing his sweatshirt to verify and confirm he was shot in the back is all I wanted to see,” said Hill. “My eyes filled with tears, because I wanted to just touch his things and be a part of him at that moment.”


Hill says her son – nicknamed “Mechee” – was a caregiver to the family. He taught his younger brother to throw his first football and looked after his sisters. 


Hill retained an attorney and filed a data practices request before she received her son’s things. She says some items are still missing, like his wallet and his pants. Though the items can no longer be used as evidence, Hill still wants to see justice for her son. 


“I’m hoping to get that case reopened. I am trying to get my voice out there and the stories told because I really search for the truth. And once I find out that the truth is they murdered him… I want to have my son’s name taken off the record for the aggravated robbery,” she said. “So I know he’s innocent – I want my son to be proven innocent.”


Officer Vick was given an award by the St. Paul Chief of Police for his actions in Hill’s case. Seven years later he was shot and killed while working undercover. 


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