A 60-year-old black man was shot dead by a Georgia state trooper on Friday after he tried escaping a rural traffic stop, Associated Press reported, quoting local authorities.
Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis, 60, had gone out to the store to buy his wife a soda when he was accosted by the trooper, identified as 27-year-old Jacob Gordon Thompson for having a broken tail light, Unilad reported. The incident took place on August 7.
Georgia chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) president said that the shootout was another ‘chilling example of a Black man being killed unlawfully by a white law enforcement officer.’ Lewis was shot in the face after his car was forced into a ditch.
Thompson was arrested and has been tried for murder. He has also been fired from his job. The move comes amid a national outcry over racial injustice after George Floyd died beneath a Minneapolis police officer’s knee in May.
Lewis was a carpenter who recently helped a local ministry finish a construction project, Johnson said. He said Lewis’ wife told him her husband didn’t own a gun.
Earlier on Saturday, large numbers of police moved in to disperse the crowds when fights broke out.
Several dozen right-wing demonstrators, some waving the Confederate battle flag and many wearing military gear, gathered in downtown Stone Mountain where they faced off against a few hundred counterprotesters, many of whom wore shirts or carried signs expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement. People in both groups carried rifles.
For several hours, there was little visible police presence and things were largely peaceful, aside from some shoving and pushing and spirited arguments.
But just before 1 p.m., fights broke out, with people punching and kicking each other and throwing rocks. That's when police officers in riot gear moved in to disperse the crowds.
By 2 p.m., almost all of the protesters had left the area.
Right-wing groups led by an Arkansas group called Confederate States III%, had applied for a permit to hold a rally in Stone Mountain Park, where there's a giant sculpture of Confederate leaders. The event was planned as a response to a march in the park by a Black militia group on July 4.
But the Stone Mountain Memorial Association denied the permit on Aug. 4, citing a violent clash between groups in April 2016, spokesman John Bankhead said. The park closed to visitors Saturday and was set to reopen Sunday.
With police manning barriers to keep people from entering the park, demonstrators took to the streets of the adjoining city of Stone Mountain, which on Friday had advised people to stay away all day and urged residents to stay home and businesses to shut down. (