Black Lives Matter activists have taken to the streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, demanding “justice” for 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz, who was killed by police after he charged at an officer with a knife.
People have been flooding to the police station in Southwest Lancaster City, chanting “Don’t shoot” and other BLM slogans after an officer-involved shooting earlier in the day.
Footage on social media shows protesters smashing windows and jumping on a police car, as one of the gathering’s leaders announces that “BLM riots” have kicked off in the city.
LANCASTER: BLM riots kick off in Lancaster, PA after an officer involved shooting of a man armed with a knife pic.twitter.com/iGX1D03hiN
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) September 14, 2020
Facing backlash over the shooting, Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office released body cam footage from the incident. The video starts with a woman running out of the house screaming. In the next second, Munoz rushes out of the door with a knife in his hand and charges at the responding officer, with the latter firing several shots at Munoz, who then falls to the ground.
WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE
Munoz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lancaster DA said that they have been “investigating” the shooting to determine if the use of force was justified, but noted that the preliminary investigation indicates that the knife-wielding victim posed a immediate danger to the officer’s life before being killed.
The footage shows that when the officer gets in front of a residence in the 300 block of Laurel Street, Munoz immediately emerges from inside and runs toward the officer, brandishing a knife above his head, in clear view, in a threatening manner
District Attorney Heather Adams said that her office would release all other details pertaining to the incident “in a timely manner,” urging protesters to “remain peaceful” since “violence and destruction of property will become headlines and serve no purpose for the safety and wellbeing of our citizens and neighborhoods.”
The incident took place around 4:15 pm local time, as the officers were responding to an alleged domestic disturbance.
While there is nothing in the DA’s message to suggest that Munoz was mentally incapacitated, activists have alleged that the man was autistic. Protesters have also accused police of leaving the his body lying in the street “for hours” before it was taken away.
A man with the same first and last names as Munoz stabbed four people in Lancaster in March last year. At the time, police said that the suspect refused to drop his knife when ordered by officers, but was eventually taken into custody. His trial was to start tomorrow.