The use of deadly force was justified in the death of an African immigrant on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky, Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad reportedly said on Sunday, at a news conference. The 35-year-old was shot dead by a white police officer, yet again triggering protests over the role race plays in the country’s law enforcement process.
Community activists gathered on Sunday to protest the killing and question why the officer in question — identified as Nathan Blanford — did not use a Taser gun or pepper spray to control the incident. A surveillance video reportedly shows that the man, an African immigrant, was shot twice by Blanford, who was responding to a 911 call of assault.
“The officer believed his life was being threatened,” Conrad said at the conference, according to NBC News, adding: “Looking at the video,” Blanford “didn’t have the opportunity to transition” to a “less lethal option.”
The video reportedly shows the man approach a woman, grab her purse and cell phone, and throw it on the street. He is also seen punching the woman. Blanford then pulls up at the intersection, following which a brief argument ensues between him and the man, before the latter walks away.