Police officer shoots and kills man wielding flag pole in Louisville after confrontation

Witnesses to the incident provided differing accounts to the CCTV footage that has been released by police

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The Independent US

Community activists have lamented the use of lethal force by a Louisville police officer, after a 35-year-old African immigrant was shot and killed.

Officer Nathan Blanford drew his gun and fired two shots when Deng Manyoun ran towards him with a flagpole, adding to the debate of police force and racial tension between police and the wider community.

Mr Manyoun was taken to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he later died.

The shooting, which took place on Saturday, has been defended by Louisville’s chief of police, Steve Conrad, who promised a “transparent investigation”, releasing footage of the incident from nearby CCTV cameras.

According to neighbours, Mr Manyoun did not speak English although they believed he was from Sudan. Police could not confirm which country he was from.

Witnesses made statements to local media that Mr Manyoun had never swung the pole at the police officer, although this was contradicted by surveillance cameras. Without audio of the incident, it was not possible to tell when the shots were fired.

It is unclear whether the flagpole hit the police officer. Prior to the shooting, police had been called after a woman called, claiming that Mr Manyoun had assaulted her.

Chanelle Helm, a board member of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression, led community activists who asked why a police officer needed to use deadly force, claiming that Mr Manyoun had been drunk.

The activists invoked the phrase “Black lives matter,” the call to action from the high-profile police shootings in America last year.