HARRISBURG – Senators Ryan Aument (R-36) and Scott Martin (R-13) issued the following statement today regarding protests and violence in response to an officer-involved shooting in Lancaster County over the weekend:
“We would like to express our deepest appreciation to the Lancaster Bureau of Police and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office for quickly releasing the body cam footage from the recent officer-involved shooting and for providing the highest level of transparency in the subsequent investigation. As many in the Lancaster County community are now aware, an incident occurred on Sunday, September 13th when officers were called to respond to a domestic violence situation that quickly turned into a dangerous encounter when a man charged at the responding officer with a large knife.
“While the body cam footage supports the use of force as being justified in this case, any loss of life is always a tragedy for the community. As we wait for the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office to release their findings from the investigation, we urge all community residents to have compassion for the family of the deceased as they grieve the loss of a loved one.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this incident sparked a rush to judgement that led to numerous acts of violence throughout our community last night. It is even more unfortunate that many of those arrested for perpetrating those acts came here from outside Lancaster County, as they do not represent the majority of community members wishing to protest peacefully. The Constitutional right to assemble and protest peacefully is a pillar of our society, and we offer our support to those who wish to make their voices heard. However, the acts of destruction that we saw last night completely undermine the message that peaceful protestors wish to deliver. It is our hope that the perpetrators of these terrible acts are identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“We remain hopeful that the extraordinary transparency and accountability of the Lancaster Police will ensure last night’s unfortunate period of unrest will be an isolated incident. As always, we are deeply grateful for their efforts and those of the many supporting police departments to keep our communities safe during these most difficult circumstances.”