The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa.
The Lancaster Bureau of Police announced on Monday it has closed its police station to the public until further notice.
The station is closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic and no one other than police will have access to the building.
Anyone who needs to speak to an officer is asked to call the Lancaster County-Wide Communications non-emergency line at 717-664-1180. Anyone with an emergency should dial 911.
The closing comes after protests following the death of 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz, who was shot by an officer responding to a domestic dispute in the 300 block of Laurel Street around 4:15 p.m.
District Attorney Heather Adams released footage from a police body camera on Sunday night, which she said shows an officer in front of a home when Munoz “immediately emerges from inside and runs toward the officer, brandishing a knife above his head, in clear view, in a threatening manner.” The video shows the officer firing at Munoz, who was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured.
Munoz suffered from schizophrenia and paranoia, according to his family, who said they had been having difficulty getting him the help that he needed. His mother, Miguelina Peña, told PennLive on Monday that when her son had an episode on Sunday, the family called crisis intervention first, and their instructions were to call the police. The family questions why the police officer didn’t use a Taser or shoot him somewhere other than his heart.
The protests in Lancaster following the shooting turned violent and destructive, with protesters throwing rocks and other items at the police. The county SERT unit was called in and used tear gas multiple times. Additionally, SERT’s BearCat, an armored vehicle, was used to destroy a makeshift barricade/bunker built by rioters in the middle of West Chestnut Street, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.
The Lancaster DA’s office also announced on Monday that the criminal acts that followed the shooting are being investigated and that those who perpetrated acts of violence and destruction will be charged and prosecuted.
“The acts committed overnight were not peaceful acts of protest; the behavior was violent and riotous,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “Numerous buildings and vehicles were damaged, fires were set – all without regard for the owners and individuals who could have been physically harmed by the riotous actions.
“Police arrested several individuals and those charges are being filed Monday. There is much video of what took place overnight, and that footage is being reviewed as part of the ongoing investigation. Individuals identified as actors engaged in criminal acts will be charged.”
The statement also said that the acts of police/SERT prevented further damage to property and vehicles, and protected individuals in the area from being harmed.
“This office fully supports the right to gather and peacefully protest, however, the riotous behavior exhibited last night is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said in a statement.
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