Protests erupted overnight after police fatally shot a 27-year-old man in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. According to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office, Lancaster city police were responding to a domestic disturbance call on Sunday afternoon when the incident took place. While on the scene, the man identified as Ricardo Munoz allegedly charged an officer while armed with a knife. Per body cam footage, an officer fired on Munoz, who was killed and pronounced dead at the scene.
According to reports and social media posts, a protest broke out in Lancaster, and eventually led to some vandalism at the Lancaster Police Station. Police reportedly fired tear gas on the protesters to break up the demonstration. In a statement, District Attorney Heather Adams said "A police-involved shooting has significant impact on a community, as we are seeing with the large number of individuals gathering in the streets. However, I am asking that all reaction be tempered as the investigation is ongoing," Adams added, "We will do our best to release details about the incident in a timely manner. We ask that acts of protest remain peaceful as violence and destruction of property will become headlines and serve no purpose for the safety and wellbeing of our citizens and neighborhoods."
Protesters out in the intersection of West Chestnut Street and North Prince in Lancaster city in response to police involved shooting that occurred Sunday afternoon. @LancasterOnline pic.twitter.com/sstzzefznf— Blaine Shahan (@BlaineShahanLNP) September 14, 2020
Regarding the footage captured by the officer's bodycam, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said, "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. The officer then fired. No one else was struck by gunfire. To repeat, the incident is under investigation. We do intend to release all findings from the investigation once completed."
The protest over Munoz's death is just one more in a string of many that have taken place since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest. There have also been protests over the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and Jacob Blake, just to name a few. All of these people were shot by police officers, with Blake being the only one to survive.