Even during ongoing nationwide protests against police violence, 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was shot to death on September 13 by law enforcement. Two days later, the Lancaster County coroner deemed the killing a “homicide,” CNN reported.
Similar to Daniel Prude’s case, Munoz’s family reportedly called 911 for help; he had allegedly become aggressive with his mother at home. Munoz’s parents told WJAC that he suffered from schizophrenia and wasn’t on medication.
The Washington Post explains that Munoz somehow disappeared from the responding officer’s sight only to re-emerge “[rushing] out of the building, and the officer starts to run, before shooting at the man several times.” Munoz reportedly threatened the officer with a knife. A resident of Lancaster who was on the scene at the start of the protest wrote on Twitter that law enforcement left Munoz’s body in the street for hours.
Police shot and killed a reportedly autistic man in Southwest Lancaster City today and left his body on the ground for hours. We’re here at the police station demanding justice. Police are escalating the situation. pic.twitter.com/x70X3SJWui— Nick Martin (@lancnick) September 14, 2020
In response, at least 100 people took to the streets on September 14 to demand answers for two nights straight, according to reports. Twelve people were arrested, including one for illegal possession of a handgun, the Lancaster Bureau of Police report from September 14 stated. With the coroner’s homicide finding and the Lancaster District Attorney’s office confirming via Twitter that another agency is investigating, the next few days in Lancaster could be a battle.
We must correct an initial @LancasterOnline report which stated the ‘Lancaster Police Bureau’s detective division’ is investigating the Sept. 13 officer-involved shooting.— Lancaster DA (@Lancaster_DA) September 16, 2020
Lancaster County Detectives, under District Attorney oversight, are conducting the investigation.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania is readying for another battle with Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams and magisterial District Judge Bruce Roth, who set the bail amount for seven protesters at $1 million. “Cash bail should never be used to deter demonstrators and chill speech,” the ACLU said in a statement.
As the city recovers from the protests, which the DA called “riotous acts” in a tweet, Munoz’s family is bereaved.
“I called the police,” Miguelina Pina, Munoz’s mother, told WJAC on September 14, “and I was thinking that they would bring my son to the hospital yesterday, not kill him.”