ACLU of Louisiana issues statement on officer-involved shooting in Lafayette

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has issued a statement in the wake of Friday night’s shooting on the Evangeline Thruway that killed a Black man armed with a knife.

Trayford Pellerin, 31, of Lafayette, was Tased and then shot after an altercation and foot pursuit near a Lafayette convenience store. Cell phone footage taken at the scene shows Pellerin walking away from police at the time he was shot by officers. State Police are investigating the shooting on behalf of the Lafayette Police Department, but they have not released any information on the altercation or what Pellerin was doing — or planning to do — with the knife.

This is the third officer-related shooting in Lafayette in the last two months.

“Once again, video footage has captured a horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person who was brutally killed in front of our eyes,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “While we need to know much more about what occurred last night, we know that it began with a routine ‘disturbance’ call and cell phone video from the scene clearly shows Mr. Pellerin moving away – not towards – police officers, only to be tased and then brutally shot dead. Trayford Pellerin should be alive today. Instead, a family is mourning and a community is grieving. Mr. Pellerin’s family and the people of Lafayette deserve answers and an independent investigation of what was clearly an inappropriate and excessive use of force by these officers. None of our communities are safe when the police can murder people with impunity or when routine encounters escalate into deadly shooting sprees. The ACLU of Louisiana will continue to demand justice for this brutal killing and push for reforms that will end the epidemic of police violence once and for all.” 

The full press release can be read here.

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