LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Protests continued on Monday after body camera footage showed a Lancaster City police officer fatally shooting a 27-year-old man who charged at him with a knife.
His family said they called crisis intervention first, but were referred to police.
“He might have had a breakdown. He might have had an episode or whatever. He didn’t have to die for it, though,” said Darien Harris, a Millersville student.
Several dozen protesters continued Sunday’s message on night two: 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz didn’t have to die.
“I think any reasonable person is going to behave how that police officer behaved — but that’s the thing, police aren’t supposed to behave like reasonable people. They’re supposed to be — effectively — the walls that outline our morality,” Harris said.
Others wonder why the officer didn’t appear to have back up or if they could have shot to injure, not kill.
“A baton, taser, mace, all that. You chose something that can really kill someone and you actually killed and murdered someone,” said Kassandra Orjales.
Mayor Danene Sorace also made a call for change. She said the death of Munoz highlights the need to re-examine the way the county dispatches calls that may involve a mental health crisis.
“There are a lot of uncertainties and nuance to these situations, which can change and rapidly escalate. We need an evidence-based protocol for responding,” Sorace said.
Lancaster County Commissioner Josh Parsons called Sorace’s comments strange, saying in a series of tweets: ” I thought the press conference was going to be about the riot that caused significant property damage last night and what they are going to do to prevent it in the future. Instead it was all about trying to deflect blame onto County and state government for some supposed policy failures.”
Protesters are just hoping for a policy success and effective change.
“I have to be at work at 11 because we gotta go to work to make our living. Right? You want us to help build America, but yet you’re not helping build our community. You’re taking our people away from us,” Orjales said.
“We need police, and we need law enforcement, but they need to be able to operate correctly, and they need to have boundaries and precedent to follow so they can handle situations, properly,” Harris said.
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