Riot police officers have arrested several Black Lives Matter protesters blocking roads in Lafayette, Louisiana following a vigil for a man shot and killed by cops while resisting arrest and trying to “walk away.”
Crowds of activists gathered on Saturday evening at the Shell gas station along Evangeline Thruway, where Trayford Pellerin, 31, was shot and killed Friday night.
Protestors have formed a arm-linked chain across NE Evangeline Thurway at Willow Street. pic.twitter.com/FDl4dfmUOd
A group of protesters demanding justice soon spilled onto the road, blocking it with a human chain, and declaring that “nobody gets past this line!”
Fire on the thruway pic.twitter.com/88aCFnQz5d
Initially peaceful, some protesters reportedly threw bottles and rocks at police cars, and faced off with a line of riot cops.
Sam Flugence leading the crowd. pic.twitter.com/mV3A2CmjZg
Police declared the gathering “unlawful,” making several arrests and using smoke grenades to disperse the remaining crowd, according to Acadiana Advocate reporter Katie Gagliano.
Pellerin was shot nearly a dozen times after Lafayette Police Department officers responded to a disturbance call about “a man with a knife” at a gas station around 8pm Friday, and later died in a hospital.
This is what was deployed into the crowd earlier. At first launch protestors believed it might be tear gas but it was some kind of smoke bang. pic.twitter.com/CXXkH2ILOa
Denouncing the incident as yet another example of systemic racism, BLM activists and a local ACLU branch branded it a cold-blooded “murder,” and accused police of escalating a “routine encounter” into a “deadly shooting spree.”
While the investigation is ongoing, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory was forced to address public anger in a late Saturday statement, insisting that the officers used deadly force against Pellerin only “when it became apparent the armed individual was attempting to enter a convenience store, threatening the lives of the customers and workers inside.”
An armed individual was shot and killed by Lafayette police officers after an extended pursuit, numerous efforts to de-escalate the situation, and multiple tries to subdue the knife-wielding suspect through the use of tasers.
Meanwhile, in Lafayette, Louisiana, cops murder another Black man, shooting him 11 times in the back as he walks awaySay his name: #TrayfordPellerinpic.twitter.com/x25WVbBKTzWe at @TENDEMANDS demand #JusticeforTrayfordPellerin — and all victims of police violence
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