My wife and I started playing amateur detective, both on the Internet and in person. I emailed the lawyer that the mother had hired to tell him that as a long time resident the official story sounded fishy to me, and gave him leads to look into. I didn't like the idea that I or my family might get shot by cops in the local parking lot with no open investigation or discussion in the press.
The poor mother told us the cops hadn't notified her of her son's death for 12 hours. (That would have given them lots of time to get their stories straight, sober up, or whatever.) A week later, nobody had yet released the names of the shooters to her. We did our best to console the parents, and to tell them that as local residents who didn't have a dog in this fight, just a sense that some kind of injustice was going down, we thought they should press their investigation and seriously consider a lawsuit.
Basically, news organizations are quite dependent upon the criminal justice system to feed them the facts of crime stories, and when the cops want a story to get underplayed, they just keep the flow of facts to the bare minimum.
On the other hand, the amount of self-organizing citizen activism has been above average. One black commenter on the web said something like this to the victims' friends, neighbors, and teachers, "Wow, you white people just won't let this go when one of your own gets shot by the cops. If this had happened in the 'hood, it would have been forgotten by now."