In an attempt to quiet controversy surrounding the shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Kentucky on Saturday, the Louisville Police Department released video of the fatal encounter Sunday.
Police Chief Steve Conrad said Officer Nathan Blanford shot African immigrant Deng Manyoun in self-defense as the man swung a metal flag pole at the officer, according to the Courier-Journal.
The video taken from Smoker’s Smoke Shop shows Manyoun stumbling across the street when Blanford arrives to the scene responding to report that a woman had been assaulted by a man fitting Manyoun’s description.
Manyoun momentarily disappears off camera and re-emerges swinging the flag pole and striking Blanford’s squad car.
Blanford drew his service weapon and fired.
“I believe looking at the video, [Blanford] did not have the opportunity to transition to another option,” Conrad told reporters Sunday. “It would appear to me based on my viewing of the video that he felt threatened, that his life was in danger, there’s a man swinging an eight foot metal pole at him. You see in the video he’s coming down in what I would describe as a sledgehammer-like motion towards the officer.”
Those facts did little to quell anger from activists who met Sunday.
Organizer Chanelle Helm said they want to know why Blanford didn’t use a less lethal weapon like a Taser or mace.
“The officer went first to kill a man with his gun,” she told the Courier-Journal. “He did not subdue him.”
Apparently, some people in the Black Lives Matter movement think there is simply no situation in which a law enforcement officer can protect his or her life using lethal force.
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