LANCASTER, Pa. — Protests continued a second night in Lancaster in response to the police shooting of a 27-year-old man wielding a knife on Sept. 13.
Tensions remained high between protesters and police on Monday, after violence broke out during the first night of protests.
Rioters broke windows and damaged property near the Lancaster City Bureau of Police building early Monday morning.
Police attempted to disperse the rioters with a chemical agent spray and rubber bullets, according to the department’s CrimeWatch page.
The police building on W. Chestnut St. was closed to the public by Monday afternoon, with fences and barricades blocking the main entrance. The barricades were filled with water to prevent them from being moved.\
As protesters began to gather Monday afternoon for the second day of protesting, members of the local Black Lives Matter movement said they were hoping for a more peaceful outcome that day.
“Knowledge is power. Love is eternal. Let's show the world we are not thugs and hoodlums, as they say,” said Kassandra Mishel Orjales.
“We're not here to destroy things. We're here to protect the people from being killed by police needlessly,” said a man who said he lived in Central Pennsylvania and identified himself only as “A.”
Equipped with homemade body armor and a gas mask, “A” said the people who started the violence early Monday morning were not part of the local movement.
“People we can't identify. People who aren't in our groups,” “A” said.
“All we wanted was for our voices to be heard,” said Lancaster resident Jontel Toland. “So I'm pretty upset that outsiders were allowed to come in and just control the narrative that easy.”
Protesters said they wanted to have a discussion with city and police officials, rather than further violence.
However, several said they believed the police were wrong in using chemical agents and rubber bullets early Monday morning.
“They doubled down on their wrongness and I believe that it's a possibility that they could triple down on it tonight,” said “A.” “If anybody's going to get hit with anything, it's going to be me before them. I'm here to protect the people of Lancaster.”