LANCASTER, Pa. — Demonstrators in Pennsylvania took to the streets for the second night in a row, this time more peacefully following the fatal shooting of a man by police on Sunday.
About 40 protesters gathered outside the police station in downtown Lancaster shortly before 7 p.m. EDT, chanting “No justice, no peace.” That came hours after video showed police escorting a man in handcuffs into the station and a night after protesters broke windows of police vehicles after the fatal shooting of Ricardo Munoz, 27.
Earlier Monday, Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace issued a clear and emotional message less than 24 hours after a city police officer shot and killed a man who was chasing him with what appeared to be a large knife.
“I need help. We need help,” Sorace said, calling on leaders across Pennsylvania to help forge a solution to shootings involving police officers. “I am clear beyond a doubt that we lack the tools, the resources, the expertise and the capacity to do this on our own here in the City of Lancaster.”
“We need an evidence-based protocol for responding,” she said. “What is that protocol?”
“Additionally, how do we create and staff a system that can respond 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and within minutes? These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered to create a countywide plan,” she said.
The mayor said budget cuts have hampered the police department’s ability to respond to high-risk situations. She called on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and police departments and community leaders across the state to find new solutions to problems that have long plagued police departments.
She said officers need to be dispatched with information that will help them make better decisions when they arrive on scene.
Less than 24 hours after Munoz was killed Sunday afternoon, the city released police bodycam footage that shows what happened from the time the officer arrived on scene to the time of the shooting.
Several city leaders took to the podium after the mayor and expressed condolences to Munoz’s family and offered support for the mayor and the police department.
City council member Janet Diaz said social media played a big role in spreading false rumors and fanning the flames of anger based on misunderstandings of the facts of the case.
City council President Ismail Smith Wade-El said he saw peaceful protesters repeatedly try to quell potential violence.
Sorace was blunt when a reporter asked if she expected more violent protests tonight.
“You’re asking that question that quite honestly makes me want to throw up. It is my fervent hope that there will be no more violent protests tonight,” she said.
Contributing: Neil Strebig, York (Pa.) Daily Record; Jessica Flores, USA TODAY.
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