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US: Protesters demand justice after police shooting of Black man | USA News

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Community activists said they will present their frustrations and demand racial justice from the leaders of a Louisiana city on Sunday, following a night of violence that erupted after police shot and killed a Black man.

Dozens of people took to the streets of Lafayette on Saturday in response to the death of Trayford Pellerin, 31.

On Friday night, officers followed Pellerin on foot as he left a convenience store where he had created a disturbance with a knife, Louisiana State Police said. Stun guns failed to stop him, and the officers shot Pellerin as he tried to enter another convenience store, still with the knife, according to a news release.

The shooting was captured on video, and the state ACLU condemned what it described as an “horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person”. Both the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center quickly called for an investigation.

Rikasha Montgomery, who took a video of the shooting, said a man holding what looked like a knife kept walking down the highway while some officers fired stun guns at him [Screengrab/Twitter via Ben Crump]

Saturday afternoon’s protest started peacefully but violence broke out as night fell, leading to officers clearing the crowd with smoke canisters, Trooper Derek Senegal said.

Officials said at a news conference late on Saturday that fireworks had been shot at buildings and fires set in the median of a road where demonstrations had taken place.

“Our intent is not going to be to just let people disrupt our town and put our citizens and our motorists and our neighbourhoods in danger,” Interim Police Chief Scott Morgan said.

Arrests were made, Morgan said, but an exact number was not immediately available.

“We do support people’s First Amendment rights,” Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber said. “However, when it comes to the destruction of property, we are not going to have Lafayette set on fire.”

The activists attempted to attend the news conference but were “escorted out” because Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory said it was private, Lafayette NAACP President Marja Broussard said. They planned to confront Guillory on Sunday at 5pm at Lafayette City Hall.

Activist Jamal Taylor said the demonstrators who caused destruction on Saturday night came from out of town.

“They picked the wrong city to do this in,” Taylor said. “If you’re one of these bad actors that comes in and sets fires and throws rocks and pops firecrackers, you’re not welcome here in Lafayette.”

The activists also expressed discontent that leaders did not offer condolences to Pellerin’s family at the news conference.

“Josh Guillory is lower than a dog for that,” Taylor said.

Tensions surrounding the fatal shooting follow a global reckoning over police tactics and racial injustice that stems from the death of George Floyd on May 25 under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.

Calls for officers’ dismissal

National civil rights lawyer Ben Crump said he was representing Pellerin’s family, and that he and Baton Rouge lawyer Ronald Haley had begun their own investigation by interviewing witnesses.

“The officers involved should be fired immediately for their abhorrent and fatal actions,” Crump said in a statement on Saturday.

Pellerin’s mother said her son was intelligent, shy and had sought therapy for social anxiety. Pellerin became anxious in groups and may have been frightened by the officers, Michelle Pellerin told The Advocate. He had sought professional help earlier this year, she said.

The family believes Pellerin may have been having a mental health crisis, Crump said.

Lafayette police asked state police to investigate – standard procedure in the state for shootings by local officers.

Demands for change

Rikasha Montgomery, who took a video of the shooting, told The Advertiser that a man holding what looked like a knife kept walking down the highway while some officers fired stun guns at him. Officers holding guns shouted at him to get onto the ground, said Montgomery, 18.

She said they fired when the man reached the door of a Shell gas station.

“When I heard the gunshots, I couldn’t hold my phone like I was first filming,” she said. “I feel kind of scared about it. I’m traumatised. You’re so used to hearing about this, but I never thought I would experience it.”

The incident was the third shooting by Lafayette police since mid-July. State police said a man was critically wounded last month after being shot during an altercation with police. Another man was in a stable condition after being shot during a burglary investigation earlier this month.

Haley told The Advocate that he and Crump will be seeking reform and policy changes in the police department as well as damages.

“We want policy changes as well, so that Ben and I are not in the living room with another family in Lafayette dealing with this,” Haley said.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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