UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet says the shooting of Jacob Blake and killing of Daniel Prude while in police detention show the need for "urgent and profound action" to combat systemic racism as well as racial discrimination in policing.
The shooting of Black man Jacob Blake and the killing of Daniel Prude highlights the need for "urgent and profound action" to combat systemic racism in the US as well as racial discrimination in policing, the UN has said.
UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet's statement on Monday came as the news of yet another police killing of an African American triggered fresh outrage, three months after protests ignited nationwide over George Floyd, who was choked to death by policemen.
Police tear gassed protesters who took to the streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania following the shooting death of Ricardo Munoz, a 27-year-old black man, on Sunday afternoon.
The crowd formed outside the police station, where the department stated multiple buildings and government vehicles were damaged by demonstrators.
Police while responding to a domestic disturbance call, fatally shot Munoz after he came out of a home and chased an officer with a knife, police said.
Body camera video showed the officer fire several shots at Munoz, who then falls to the ground.
The officer was placed on administrative leave, according to local news outlets.
The Lancaster County District Attorney's Office was leading the investigation.
District Attorney Heather Adams acknowledged the protests in a news release late Sunday and called for calm.
“We ask that acts of protest remain peaceful as violence and destruction of property will become headlines and serve no purpose for the safety and well being of our citizens and neighborhoods,” Adams stated.
Warnings to disperse
As for the use of “chemical munitions” against protesters early on Monday, the police department said in a statement that the crowd was given several warnings to disperse before the gas was deployed.
The crowd “failed to follow the instructions,” police stated, adding that items including glass bottles, gallon jugs filled with liquid, parts of plastic road barricades and more had been thrown at officers.
Since the police killing in May of Floyd in Minneapolis, demonstrations linked to the Black Lives Matter movement have rocked the nation, with many calling for significant police reforms including defunding or abolition.
Several other incidents highlighting racial inequality and police brutality have occurred in the US since then, prompted an outcry over police brutality and systemic racism.
Jacob Blake, a Black father, was shot seven times in the back by a white officer in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha. Doctors fear the shooting will leave him paralysed from the waist down.
Daniel Prude, 41, known to his Chicago-based family as “Rell,” died March 30 when his family took him off life support, seven days after officers who encountered him running naked through the street put a hood over his head to stop him from spitting, then held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing.
The presence of counter-protesters, who usually enjoy police support, has frequently triggered violent clashes, pushing law and order high up the agenda for November's presidential election.
Breonna Taylor, 26, an African-American medical technician was shot dead by police during a botched raid in Kentucky in March this year.