Aug 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Protesters rally over fatal police shooting of Black man in Louisiana

Protesters gathered Saturday at the scene where Trayford Pellerin was fatally shot by Lafayette officers the previous night to demand justice, as Louisiana state police announced an investigation into the 31-year-old Black man's death, per the Advocate.

Why it matters: The May 25 death in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis has shone a spotlight on disproportionate officer-involved killings of Black people and ignited widespread protests across the U.S. and the world.

  • ACLU of Louisiana said in a statement Saturday calling for an independent investigation into Pellerin's death, "Once again, video footage has captured a horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person who was brutally killed in front of our eyes."

What they're saying: The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations said in a statement the Lafayette Police Department officers had received reports of "a person armed with a knife at a convenience store" in the city that's west of Baton Rouge.

  • They allege they found the suspect in the parking lot with a knife. The bureau said the officers "attempted to apprehend Pellerin, he fled the scene and a foot pursuit ensued."
  • "Officers deployed Tasers as they pursued Pellerin, but they were ineffective" and he tried to then enter a gas station convenience store "still armed with a knife," the statement continued. "Officers discharged their weapons and he was struck by gunfire."
  • Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump tweeted, "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."
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