A t-shirt meant to pay tribute to 29-year-old Theo Gray, who was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting, is now going viral.
“I made these T-shirts to give a voice to the people,” said Branden Turner.
The shirt has an obscene word on the shirt, stating "blank that dog."
“I am not condoning any violent acts, I’m not condoning anything that goes against our human rights as people in American to say how we feel,” Turner said.
St. Clair Shores Police say they were called to the Lakeland Manor Banquette Hall on reports of a man with a gun on Sunday, Nov. 4. That led to an officer-involved shooting where both Axe, the K9 dog, and 29-year-old Theo Gray were shot and killed.
“The importance was placed on the life of a K9 officer or a dog who does not share the same rights as a human being in this country,” Turner said.
Pictures of Turner outside the St. Clair Shores Police Department wearing the shirt is going viral on Facebook.
While some are asking for how they can purchase one, other’s are upset. One person commenting: “That’s how you respect an animal that gave his life to protect people? Very sad.”
Another post simply says, “Disgusting".
“I’ve gotten death threats. I’ve gotten racists comments,” Turner said.
We did reach out to Theo Gray’s father, and he said he did not know that the t-shirt was being made and did not authorize anyone to do so.
Turner says he did not know Theo, but hopes the shirt will spark a conversation.
“I’m not condoning no violence, only commentary and steps towards change,” Turner said.
The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the officer-involved shooting.
7 Action News did reach out to the St. Clair Shores Police Department for their reaction on the shirt but have not heard back.