IRELAND’S BLACK community has called for calm amid the ongoing protests sparked by the shooting of George Nkencho on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old was shot and killed by gardai following a stand-off with armed officers from the Blanchardstown Armed Support Unit (ASU) in Clonee, west Dublin.
Nkencho was reportedly holding a knife at the time of the shooting.
Officers had earlier been called to the scene after Nkencho reportedly assaulted the manager of a supermarket in Hartstown before threatening several members of staff with a knife.
According to a statement from An Garda Síochána, officers attempted to deal with the situation using a “graduated policing response”.
Pepper spray and taser guns were both deployed prior to the shooting.
The Garda Ombudsman has opened an investigation into the incident, which has sparked demonstrations in Dublin.
Protestors have pledged to protest for the next two weeks as they seek justice following Nkencho's death.
Speaking to the Irish Sun on Sunday, Leon Diop, who runs the Black and Irish podcast and Facebook page said the protests were inevitable given the deaths of figures like George Floyd at the hands of US police.
He did, however, urge demonstrators to hold back any judgement until a thorough investigation of the incident has taken place.
He said: “It’s important now that people want to protest and they have a right to protest, but everyone should hold on and let the full facts come to light.”
Diop’s views were echoed by Eric Ehigie from the Longford Africans Network.
“This event was tragic, not only for George, the family of George, but the police officers involved,” he said.
“It was a sad moment for a nation. It’s important for us not to come to any radical conclusions as to what we know so far.
“But our nation does need to empathise with the African community at this time, because something like this has never happened to them before.”