The identity of a 32-year-old Ghanaian man who was shot and killed by a uniformed Brooklyn police officer after altercations while the latter was arresting a suspect, has popped up in the list of black persons slain by US police.
According to reports, Kwasi Ashun who had earlier been diagnosed bipolar and schizophrenic attacked the police officer when he was arresting a vagrant for urinating in a nail salon at Brownsville, eastern Brooklyn – New York.
He struck one of the officers, Lesly Lafontant, with a chair in the head, after the police attempted to subdue him with a taser. The police officer responded by discharging his firearm six times at him.
Ashun was pronounced dead at the location by EMS.
Local reports note that Officer Lafontant was in a medically induced coma at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center after the incident.
The family demanded a full investigation into the shooting, wanting to know if the officers could have de-escalated the situation.
The incident which happened in October 2019, was revisited by Twitter users in reaction to criticisms by some Ghanaians on the platform, for openly condemning the US government on how the murder of another black male, George Floyd by a police officer which had sparked communal protests had gone viral.
Many Ghanaians, including former President J.J. Rawlings, have condemned the development.
“If some of these atrocities, especially from some white police officers against black citizens, cannot shock the American populace to see evidence of their own decline, what can? How can a police officer be the source of such cruel, violent death with his knee choking down a black man’s neck till he is motionless?” part of Rawlings’s tweet reads.
If some of these atrocities, especially from some white police officers against black citizens, cannot shock the American populace to see evidence of their own decline, what can? How can a police officer be the source of such cruel, violent death… pic.twitter.com/DqtfbzpAB7
— Jerry John Rawlings (@officeofJJR) May 28, 2020
A long thread detailing some victims killed by US police officers was met with mixed reactions.
While some users sympathised with the situation, others condemned some Ghanaians for not showing the same passion and speaking against similar atrocities which occur in the country.
Read some of the reactions below:
For those ignorant bastards saying Ghanaians don’t have a right to speak , I hope this hits close to home https://t.co/tK42BQWjBO
— Bloom ???? (@_Yasmeen_D) May 29, 2020
They’re simply not normal. What’s wrong with showing sympathy to your fellow human? Black man precisely…
— Keks? (@k_ekeli) May 30, 2020
It didn’t hit close, it hit home????
— Saaannnnnntttyyyy (@AsantewaaMante1) May 29, 2020
They forget there are Ghanaians living in the US…
Any of them could be gunned down like that…!
— Nii Okpoti 87 (@87Okpoti) May 30, 2020
You have this wrong. The issue is not that you do not have a right to speak. The issue is that similar atrocities occur in your backyard, Ghana and you remain silent. That is the hypocritical attitude ppl question. You have a right to question injustice wherever it may be..
— iCurd (@Curd1Mc) May 30, 2020
a few words kwesi had to say pic.twitter.com/0oMDQDXpV6
— ???????????????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????????? (@REALITIGRLFRND) May 29, 2020
People that say that are really funny to me cos the moment they make money, they’ll send their sons to uni in the US.
— Ato Kwamena (@Papaspoke) May 30, 2020