Louisiana protesters call for Lafayette mayor-president to resign after police shooting
(USA Today) - Nearly 200 protesters gathered Sunday evening for the second night in Lafayette, this time in front of City Hall to criticize Mayor-President Josh Guillory's response to a Black man killed by police.
The peaceful demonstration in front of City Hall led to a group from there leaving to join others along a parkway, where they blocked traffic near a mall for over an hour.
Other groups traveled to other parts of the city later Sunday, including an intersection where Lafayette Parish Sheriff's deputies in riot gear dispersed the crowd.
Later Sunday night, a smaller group of a couple of dozen protesters returned to the Shell gas station where police shot and killed 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin on Friday.
The Sunday protest began at City Hall with speakers criticizing Guillory's response to Pellerin's death and calling for Guillory's resignation.
Lafayette police killed Pellerin Friday night after officers approached him at a gas station. Officers responding to a disturbance call about a man carrying a knife shot Pellerin after they tasered him and he continued to walk away from them.
When the protest began outside City Hall, activist Jamal Taylor and other speakers called on Guillory to resign immediately. Guillory, who has defended the shooting saying Pellerin was "threatening," was not in attendance.
"We are calling today for the mayor-president to resign immediately," he told the crowd. "When he will not resign because he's arrogant, we have decided to establish a team of people to look at recalling him from office. We will not tolerate lackluster leadership from a failed politician who ran for office three times."
Criticism of Guillory began earlier this month when he called for the closing of four recreation centers that serviced predominately Black communities.
Herb Green, a Lafayette activist, called for more police accountability.
"If the police is not policing themselves, were going to have more of what we've just seen," he said. "This is not a Kumbaya moment. You need to be enraged because one day it could be you."
Sunday's protest comes after family and community members gathered for a vigil Saturday night at the Shell station on Northeast Evangeline Thruway where Pellerin was shot.