Protests Erupt In Pennsylvania After Police Fatally Shoot Man Wielding A Knife – Forbes

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Topline

A Pennsylvania police officer fatally shot 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz after he allegedly lunged at authorities with a knife during a domestic disturbance call on Sunday afternoon, sparking protests in the area as the national conversation around police brutality continues.

Key Facts

Police were responding to a domestic disturbance call in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, around 4:30 p.m. when authorities say Munoz lunged at an officer with a knife. 

Body camera footage from the officer released to social media shows Munoz chasing after him with a knife; the officer is running away as he shoots. 

A preliminary investigation from the District Attorney’s office finds Munoz was brandishing the knife above his head in a threatening manner, but DA Heather Adams will continue to investigate whether the use of force was justified. 

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on leave. 

Hundreds took to the streets of Lancaster on Sunday after Munoz’s death, crowding the local police department, which reported damage to multiple buildings and government vehicles.  

Tear gas was deployed against protesters after midnight and several people were arrested, according to local outlet LancasterOnline, amid demonstrations which lasted past 3 a.m. 

Munoz was involved in the non-fatal stabbing of four people in 2019. 

Crucial Quote 

“This has been a heartbreaking day for our city. I grieve for the loss of life and know that there are more questions to be answered as the investigation continues,” a message on the city of Lancaster’s official Twitter account read. 

Key Background 

The death of George Floyd in late May has invigorated months of Black Lives Matter protests across the world, as well as reflection in the U.S. on racial biases in policing. Since Floyd’s death, a string of shootings of Black men in police custody have stirred national outrage: 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Georgia; 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin (Blake is still alive, but is currently paralyzed from the waist down); and 41-year-old Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York, who was fatally shot by police in March, but whose death sparked outrage this month after details were made public. 

Big Number

19.4. The average number of police shootings per week in the U.S. for the first half of 2020. This number has not decreased from previous years despite stay-at-home orders amid the pandemic and months of protests against police brutality.

Forbes has corrected this story to remove previous references to Munoz being Black as authorities have not identified his race.

Further Reading 

“Rochester Police Chief, Deputy Retire Amid Outrage Over Daniel Prude’s Death” (Forbes) 

“Night of unrest following officer fatally shooting man in Lancaster city; here’s what we know” (LancasterOnline)

“Report: Americans Still Shot By Police At Same Rate In 2020, Despite Global Protests” (Forbes)

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