A protest Saturday night along Evangeline Thruway, where 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin was shot and killed by Lafayette Police a day earlier, escalated to smoke grenades being used against protesters. At least two protesters have been arrested.
The night began with a rally at the Shell gas station at Chalmette Drive and NW Frontage Road where the shooting took place. After more than an hour, the crowd spilled into the roadway, blocking traffic in in the northwest lanes and chanting, "No justice; no peace."
One of the organizers, Chris Bernard, used a megaphone to try to move people from the road. He called on people to honor Pellerin’s family. Marja Broussard, president of the Lafayette Chapter of the NAACP, also pleaded with people to move from the roadway.
At about 6:45 p.m., the crowd had grown to about 150 people and moved to block the intersection of Evangeline Thruway and Willow Street.
Lafayette attorney Sam Flugence led the crowd as they blocked traffic.
"Who does the power belong to?" she asked. "Will you vote?"
She also called on the crowd to have discipline, be willing to sacrifice and commit themselves to this new phase of the civil rights movement.
“Hold the line! Nobody gets past this line," she said.
Shortly after dark, as the crowd headed back to the Shell station, rocks and water bottles were thrown at police cars. Some protesters also began targeting vehicles on the roadway as they again took over the Evangeline Thruway, before a group broke off and made their way to the Lafayette Police substation on Moss Street.
About 8:15 they were met with a police line in riot gear and told to disperse within 10 minutes or they would be arrested. Several dozen protesters refused to clear the roadway and the line of officers began launching smoke grenades into the crowd, eventually advancing on the group. At least two people were taken into police custody. Barely 20 minutes later, the officers and Lafayette Parish sheriff's deputies cleared the area to respond to other scenes, including potential fires, and the protest crowd broke up into smaller groups.
Pellerin's shooting was captured on bystander video shared widely on social media. It shows at least five Lafayette Police officers approaching a Black man with what witnesses said was a knife in his hand walking away from police toward a convenience store. Video then shows officers open fire near the entrance of the convenience store and at least 10 shots can be heard.
The man is then seen lying on the ground.
The family of a man shot and killed by Lafayette police Friday says they are mourning and in disbelief, and their attorneys say they will be s…
A crowd gathered Saturday night along Evangeline Thruway, where 31-year-old Trayford Pellerin was shot and killed by Lafayette Police a day ea…
Louisiana State Police Trooper Derek Senegal said Pellerin was transported to an area hospital after the shooting, but he was not able to say at which point Pellerin died.
The police officers encountered Pellerin when they responded to a disturbance call involving a person armed with a knife at a convenience store along NE Evangeline Thruway and Castille Avenue around 8 p.m., State Police said. Officers attempted to apprehend Pellerin but he fled on foot and officers pursued him for about a half mile down Evangeline Thruway.
Officers tased Pellerin, but he continued walking to a Shell gas station convenience store at NW Frontage Road and Chalmette Drive where he attempted to enter the convenience store while still armed with the knife, state police said. Officers then fired their weapons multiple times, fatally striking Pellerin.
It was not clear how many officers discharged their weapons during the shooting, but interim police chief Scott Morgan said LPD turned the entire investigation over to state police. Morgan said the involved officers would be placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.