Protests erupted in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Sunday evening after a police officer shot and killed 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz.
The incident was quickly rumored to be another incident of police brutality so protesters gathered outside the Lancaster Police Station, vandalized, and robbed local businesses.
BREAKING: looting has started in Lancaster at Villa athletic store approximately 1 hour 50 minutes ago according to the shop owner
Groups of rioters are roaming the city breaking windows and stealing merchandise
It was too dangerous to follow them since there are no police pic.twitter.com/FQIH57hccy
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) September 14, 2020
The Daily Wire reports the Lancaster police were eventually forced to use tear gas and other crowd dispersing methods to bring the demonstrations to an end. The law enforcement bureau also released information from the incident, seeking to dispel the rumors that it was racially motivated.
According to a statement from The Lancaster Bureau of Police, the officer involved was reportedly responding to a domestic incident when Munoz, who was holding a knife, allegedly charged at him.
The officer responded by shooting Munoz, who ultimately died to his injuries.
“The first officer on the scene walked to the front of the residence and made contact with a woman, who was identified as a family member,” the statement read. “A male subject then exited the front door of the residence and began chasing the officer. Preliminary information and body-worn camera footage indicates that the male subject had a knife in his right hand as he was chasing the officer. The officer fired several shots from his firearm, striking the subject. The subject, identified as 27-year-old Lancaster man, did not survive his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer was the only police officer on the scene at the time of the shooting and his body-worn camera was activated and recorded the encounter.”
“The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office was contacted immediately and is now conducting an investigation into the officer-involved shooting,” it continued. “While the investigation is still in the early stages and is on-going, the Lancaster City Bureau of Police is releasing this video footage after providing it to the investigators.”
Some of the police officer’s bodycam footage was subsequently released to the public, showing some of the events leading up to the shooting.
This is the bodycam footage of the officer-involved shooting in Lancaster, PA that Black Lives Matter is rioting over. The perpetrator charged at the police officer with a knife over his head with clear intent to strike. pic.twitter.com/xD72TweQK4
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 14, 2020