A protest has started in Dublin, the Irish capital with hundreds calling for justice over the police killing of a 27-year-old Nigerian, George Nkencho, in the Manorfields Drive area, near the Dublin/Meath border.
The protesters, mostly blacks and believed to be Africans, were seen screaming, “Justice for George” as the policemen tried in vain to pacify the crowd.
Mr Nkencho was allegedly involved in two separate incidents in the Hartstown Shopping Centre at around 12.15 pm.
The police stated that in both instances, he had threatened members of the public with a knife.
It was stated that in one incident, a staff member in the EuroSpar received facial injuries. That man is receiving treatment in hospital for his injuries. Moments later, Mr Nkencho was involved in a public order incident in the local post office.
The police further claimed that he continued to threaten members of the public and unarmed Gardaí (a member of the Irish police force) with the knife, a garda (Irish police) statement said this evening.
Gardai followed Mr Nkencho on foot and in vehicles from the Hartstown Shopping Centre towards Manorfields Drive, Dublin 15. During this period, Gardaí were engaging him and encouraging him to drop the weapon.
Multiple videos taken by members of the public in the moments leading up to his death show the 27-year-old, who it is understood had experienced mental health issues, walking across a green area and being followed by marked and unmarked Garda cars.
Mr Nkencho was shot several times by a garda gun at Manorfield Drive in Clonee during the stand-off.
The Irish police have been made aware of several videos taken of the shooting itself and its aftermath. Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is investigating the incident also.
GSOC is an independent statutory body in Ireland charged with overseeing the national police force.
Members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) arrived at the scene in Manorfields Drive, Dublin 15.
The ASU was also threatened with a knife. Gardaí said that the ASU “implemented a graduated response where the use of less-lethal force options” which were a taser and pepper spray, “in an effort to resolve the incident”.
“The less-lethal use of force options was unsuccessful,” said the garda statement.
“Following this, at approximately 12.35 pm today a member of the Armed Support Unit discharged a number of shots from his official firearm, shooting Mr Nkencho.
“He was pronounced dead this afternoon after being transferred to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.”
Amidst the uproar, the family of the 27-year-old Nigerian has appealed to people to not share footage of the incident online.
In a statement, Mr Nkencho’s sister Gloria said her brother was “suffering from serious mental illness and those who knew him know the type of person he was; he was not a thug nor a criminal”.
She continued, “Thank you all for your condolences and prayers. My siblings and I have witnessed the most traumatic experience of our lives as our brother was shot in front of us.
“My family greatly appreciates everything everyone is doing. I kindly ask to refrain from sharing the video of the shooting. It is not something I wish to be reminded of.”