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The identity of a 32-year-old Ghanaian man who was shot and killed by a uniformed Brooklyn police officer after altercations while the latter was arresting a suspect, has popped up in the list of black persons slain by US police.
According to reports, Kwasi Ashun who had earlier been diagnosed bipolar and schizophrenic attacked the police officer when he was arresting a vagrant for urinating in a nail salon at Brownsville, eastern Brooklyn – New York.
He struck one of the officers, Lesly Lafontant, with a chair in the head, after the police attempted to subdue him with a taser. The police officer responded by discharging his firearm six times at him.
Ashun was pronounced dead at the location by EMS.
Local reports note that Officer Lafontant was in a medically induced coma at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center after the incident.
The family demanded a full investigation into the shooting, wanting to know if the officers could have de-escalated the situation.
The incident which happened in October 2019, was revisited by Twitter users in reaction to criticisms by some Ghanaians on the platform, for openly condemning the US government on how the murder of another black male, George Floyd by a police officer which had sparked communal protests had gone viral.
Many Ghanaians, including former President J.J. Rawlings, have condemned the development.
“If some of these atrocities, especially from some white police officers against black citizens, cannot shock the American populace to see evidence of their own decline, what can? How can a police officer be the source of such cruel, violent death with his knee choking down a black man’s neck till he is motionless?” part of Rawlings’s tweet reads.
If some of these atrocities, especially from some white police officers against black citizens, cannot shock the American populace to see evidence of their own decline, what can? How can a police officer be the source of such cruel, violent death… pic.twitter.com/DqtfbzpAB7
— Jerry John Rawlings (@officeofJJR) May 28, 2020
A long thread detailing some victims killed by US police officers was met with mixed reactions.
While some users sympathized with the situation, others condemned some Ghanaians for not showing the same passion and speaking against similar atrocities that occur in the country.
Read some of the reactions below:
killed attempting to confront an NYPD officer. he was unarmed, was tased, and shot six times. he was unarmed. they used mental illness as a weapon to justify his slaying. “My brother Kwesi is one of the most beautiful energies that you could ever encounter.” pic.twitter.com/vJHr8KOpKp
— 2 ♡︎ :｡･:*:･ﾟ’★,｡･:*:･ﾟ’☆ (@REALITIGRLFRND) May 29, 2020
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