Lawyers to meet with Irish police over Black man’s shooting

LONDON (AP) — Lawyers representing the family of a Black man who was shot dead by police in Ireland said Monday they will meet with police ombudsman investigators to seek to find out what happened.

Dozens of people have gathered in Dublin in the past few days to protest the death of George Nkencho, 27, on Dec. 30 in west Dublin. On Monday, a small group protested outside a police station in Dublin, calling for justice and saying he was unfairly targeted.

Ireland’s National Police and Security Service said in a statement on the day of the shooting that Nkencho was armed with a knife and had threatened members of the public and unarmed police officers at a shopping center.

It said that officers followed him and encouraged him to drop the knife, and attempted to use less lethal options — a stun gun and pepper spray — to resolve the incident. When that failed, police said an armed officer “discharged a number of shots.” Nkencho was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Police declined to provide further details Monday because the incident has been referred to the independent police ombudsman for investigation.

In a statement, lawyer Phelim O’Neill said Nkencho was not known to police and had “suffered for many years with his mental health.” He said Nkencho’s family have grave concerns about how police handled the incident that led to his death.

“The family through their legal representatives now intend to actively engage with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission investigation with a view to establishing the truth,” the statement said.

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