Over the course of the last several months, the United States has been inundated with protests from coast to coast, many focusing on the continued problem of police brutality.
This is an issue that has been brought to light over and over thanks to the omnipresence of video recording devices, both in the hands of bystanders and via the police themselves who are wearing body cameras on the job.
In the case of George Floyd, Americans could see that something was terribly wrong. Floyd was handcuffed and prone on the ground as officers slowly suffocated him be kneeling on his back and neck. All the while, Floyd was pleading for his life, telling officers that he couldn’t breathe, and even calling for his deceased mother in a scene that angered decent Americans from all walks of life.
Subsequent videos of other police officers’ interactions with people of color have also sparked outrage, but not all of these incidents are precisely the same, and some have criticized the responses of protesters – particularly during incidents in which an officer’s life may be in danger.
In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a recent interaction between an officer and a knife-wielding man has sparked demonstrations as well, but body cam footage from the incident seems to show some justification for the actions of the police.
Protesters targeted police officers, a police station and adjacent buildings in Lancaster, Pa., overnight, throwing bricks, glass, flower planters, and even plastic road barricades.
More than 100 people flooded the streets surrounding Lancaster Bureau of Police station early Monday morning to protest the fatal police shooting of a Black man armed with a knife during a domestic disturbance call hours earlier, police said.
Authorities attempted to head off the protests by swiftly releasing body cam footage of the incident.
The shooting shortly after 4 p.m. in Lancaster killed Ricardo Munoz, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Sunday evening.
The office will lead an investigation into the shooting. The release stated the officer’s body camera footage showed Munoz emerging from the inside of the house and running towards the officer when he arrived at the residence for the call.
The news release said Munoz was brandishing a knife above his head “in clear view” and “in a threatening manner” when the officer fired at him. Munoz died at the scene and no one else was struck by gunfire, the release said.
Police posted the officer’s body camera video on social media, showing the man chasing the officer down a sidewalk with a knife before he was fatally shot, and eventually used tear gas early Monday to disperse the crowds.
The officer involved in the incident has been placed on administrative leave at this time.
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