Ireland has faced a wave of BLM-styled mass protests after a knife-wielding black man was shot dead by the country’s police (gardai) after all the less lethal attempts to subdue him failed.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside a garda station in Dublin’s northwestern suburb of Blanchardstown on Thursday, condemning the killing. The deceased, a 27-year-old black man identified as George Nkencho, was shot and killed by the police on Wednesday in the nearby village of Clonee.
A protest has started for George Nkencho outside Blanchardstown Garda Station. #GeorgeNkenchopic.twitter.com/voXIjxUjU0
The protesters carried banners reading ‘Justice for George Nkencho’ and ‘George was not a thug’, while chanting such slogans as ‘How many people Garda must kill?’
While the rally’s organizers maintained the gathering was peaceful and orderly, some of the protesters attempted to block roads in the area and disrupted traffic. Some protesters bluntly accused gardai of targeting Nkencho simply for being black.
“He was not a thug. Thugs work in groups. He was a single man,” a protester told the Independent, claiming the deceased was “mentally ill.”
Sporadic protests were also observed overnight, with dozens of angry black individuals arriving at the scene of the shooting incident. Some of them were shooting fireworks around the neighborhood, footage circulating online shows.
BLM Clonee tonight. pic.twitter.com/uvCVpfDNcq
The ongoing unrest was triggered by the police shooting that occurred on Wednesday afternoon. According to gardai, it received reports of an aggressive knife-wielding man attacking members of the public at Hartstown Shopping Center. Nkencho inflicted “facial injuries” to a shop employee – who has been hospitalized – and was confronted by an unarmed police officer first.
The suspect, however, refused to comply and fled on foot before ultimately getting cornered. Nkencho, however, threatened the police with his knife and armed support was called in.
“The Armed Support Unit were also threatened with a knife and implemented a graduated response where the use of less-lethal force options (taser and OC spray) was initially administered in an effort to resolve the incident. The less-lethal use of force options were unsuccessful,” gardai said in a statement.
A short video circulating online shows the moment the suspect was shot. The man appears to be swinging his arm at a police officer, who manages to dodge the attack. Nkencho reportedly received at least three gunshot wounds and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Mr. Nkencho’s sister Gloria said in a statement that her brother was “suffering from serious mental illness and those who knew him know the type of person he was, he was not a thug nor a criminal.” She added: “My siblings and I have witnessed the most traumatic experience of our lives as our brother was shot in front of us.”
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!