Police officers in Lafayette, Louisiana have shot and killed a man who resisted arrest and tried to walk into a gas station store ‘armed with a knife’, triggering a new wave of outrage over police brutality and ‘systemic racism.’
Lafayette Police Department officers responded to a disturbance call, involving a man with a knife at a Shell gas station around 8pm Friday. When they tried to apprehend the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin, he allegedly ignored repeated orders to surrender as well as several taser shots fired at him.
The disturbing incident was captured by a bystander in a video that showed a man walking away from a group of cops towards the entrance to a convenience store. Witnesses could be heard shouting “He’s got a knife!”, “Get on the ground!” and “They’re gonna shoot him!”, before the gunfire erupts.
Several cops surrounded a Black man and fatally shot him 10+ times tonight in Lafayette, LA! He reportedly had a knife and was walking away from police, but didn’t deserve to die — they acted as judge jury and executioner. We demand JUSTICE and ANSWERS. #BlackLivesMatterpic.twitter.com/6gI3rNU4FH
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 22, 2020
Around a dozen of shots can be heard in the video, which immediately went viral, sparking accusations of excessive use of force. Authorities argued that tasers were “ineffective” and failed to stop the suspect, and that he was still armed when he tried to enter the store with people inside.
BLACK. LIVES. MATTER. ✊🏾✊🏼✊🏽✊🏿#TrayfordPellerin mattered!🗣 TONIGHT @ 5pm in Lafayette, Louisiana:Join Lafayette NAACP & other community leaders for vigil/protest at Shell station where Trayford was murdered. Water & masks provided. @DSASWLA will be on site offering support. https://t.co/uVAUKA0xCA
— Louisiana for Bernie (@LouisianaBernie) August 22, 2020
The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave as the Louisiana State Police conducts an investigation, in coordination with local community leaders, while interim Police Chief Scott Morgan promised to “do whatever we can as far as transparency goes.”
In the meantime , activists organized a a vigil and a protest at the scene of the shooting on Saturday, while the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana called the incident a “murder” and “brutal killing.”
None of our communities are safe when the police can murder people with impunity or when routine encounters escalate into deadly shooting sprees
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