Trayford Pellerin was killed by the police on Friday in Lafayette, Louisiana. The family's lawyers now intend to sue the US authorities.
The lawyers for the family of an African American killed by the police on Friday in Lafayette, Louisiana, intend to sue authorities for the man's death, according to the AP news agency.
The lawyers said they will sue the authorities for the death of Trayford Pellerin, which occurred Friday night and was captured on video. Local police said the man had a knife and was trying to get into a convenience store.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Louisiana condemned what he described as a “horrible and deadly incident of police violence against a black person”. Both the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center quickly called for an investigation into the case.
Trayford Pellerin's mother said her son was smart, shy and had sought therapy for social anxiety. The death of Pellerin, who was shot several times, prompted a crowd of protesters to meet on Saturday and protest the latest fatal police shooting.
Agents with riot gear fired smoke bombs on Saturday night to disperse the crowd, policeman Derek Senegal said, saying that tear gas was not fired at the crowd.
At a press conference late Saturday, local officials said the The protest started peacefully, but the violence later exploded with fireworks fired at buildings and fires in the middle of the road.
“Our intention is just not to allow people to disturb our city and put our citizens, drivers and neighborhoods in danger,” said interim police chief Scott Morgan. Arrests were made, Morgan said, without revealing the exact number.
“We support people's rights to the First Amendment,” said Lafayette city sheriff Mark Garber. “However, when it comes to property destruction, we will not allow Lafayette to be destroyed,” added Garber.
On Friday night, the Lafayette police followed Pellerin on foot 31 years, when he left a convenience store, where he had created a disturbance with a knife, according to a note from the Louisiana State Police. Stun guns failed to stop him and the police shot Pellerin, who tried to enter another convenience store, still with the knife, according to a press release.
The family believes that Pellerin may have had a crisis related to his mental health that was not helped by the police, said the lawyer, Ben Crump.
Lafayette police asked the state force to investigate the incident, a procedure state standard for shootings involving local police. “The policemen involved must be fired immediately for their abominable and fatal actions,” Crump said in a statement. The incident was the third Lafayette police shooting since mid-July.