Tensions mounted into the evening Friday as a Toledo police officer shot and killed an armed “person of interest” in multiple city robberies.
Officials identified the decedent as Lamar Richardson, 25, of Toledo.
A crowd of several hundred people at times pushed forward against police tape partitioning the scene. They repeatedly sought to engage the officers — at one time in a line about 20 across — over their accusations of police brutality.
“The police are supposed to be preventing crime but they’re making crime,” said Leonard Richardson, 49, who identified himself as the victim’s uncle.
“That was my nephew,” he said. “He was here, now he’s gone. He’s gone.”
Police said they responded to a vehicle stolen from East Toledo and identified Mr. Richardson as the driver. They lost the car after a pursuit, and later saw Mr. Richardson on a bicycle. They initiated the stop in the area of Lagrange and Hudson streets in North Toledo, and he fled on foot.
Officers fired at him after he “produced a weapon,” Lt. Kevan Toney, a police spokesman, said.
Authorities recovered the weapon and identified it as a 9mm firearm. No officers were injured.
At a 10 p.m. news conference, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said he called leaders in the African-American community — including faith leaders and council members — as soon as he heard about the incident. Those leaders were assembled behind the mayor during the news conference.
“Today was a terrible day for Toledo ... any time a human life is lost, that’s a tragedy,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said.
The mayor said that he and the group met for at least 30 minutes before the news conference.
“I know the community will benefit from us being united,” the mayor said.
Police Chief George Kral said he agreed with the mayor. He added, “The most important thing is this was a tragedy tonight.”
WATCH: Police Chief Kral explains the dash cam footage to reporters (CONTENT WARNING: VIOLENCE)
Late Friday evening Toledo police showed the media the unedited dash cam footage of the fatal shooting.
Footage showed two SWAT officers approaching Mr. Richardson in an attempt to detain him, and Mr. Richardson running from them. One officer pursued on foot and the other remained in his vehicle.
Both officers were put on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting.
Bystanders remained nearby throughout the evening. They took out their phones to record officers while yelling at them and demanding answers. In response, police called in reinforcements — with a line of roughly 20 officers formed to face off against the growing crowd.
Liz Harris, 40, was part of the crowd that gathered near the shooting. She said she wants to see better policing.
“Somehow, we have to connect with police so they’re more empathetic with what’s going on. Don’t just stand there and not respond,” she said.
Update: Officer-Involved shooting included members of #toledopolice Special Ops conducting surveillance on a robbery suspect. Officers shot when suspect presented this S&W Shied 9mm firearm. pic.twitter.com/YcqxC5Qa97— Toledo Police (@ToledoPolice) July 27, 2018
Tamesha Gott, 33, said she left a nearby business and saw an officer chase a man and fire.
“There was no reason for that. They can’t justify that. It’s wrong. This is like a dream,” she said.
The Friday night shooting is the second involving a Toledo police officer within a week.
Officer Jonathan Chio shot and killed a man July 21 behind a Dollar General in the 4400 block of Heatherdowns Boulevard after police said the man committed robbery there and stabbed two people, one fatally.
Shief Kral said he believes Officer Chio “acted within his rights and responsibilities.”
Officer Chio was placed on paid administrative leave. An investigation is under way into that shooting, and once it is complete, it will be submitted to the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Assembled crowd upset and expressing frustration with police pic.twitter.com/XTEVJVITol— Ryan Dunn (@RDunnBlade) July 27, 2018
Facebook Live video from scene (Warning: explicit language)
Blade Staff Writers Mark Rosenberg, Mike Sigov and Mark Zaborney contributed to this report.
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