A black man was shot in Lawrence, Kansas by police shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday after being pulled over for an alleged seat belt violation. A reporter for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World, who was at the scene minutes after the shooting, saw a black man lying in the street next to the black SUV that had been stopped upon arrival.
A witness, who was stalled in traffic on Sixth Street, told the newspaper that he did not see obvious signs of a struggle, but saw an officer standing next to the open driver’s side door of the SUV, speaking to the person inside. Suddenly, he said, the driver jumped out of the SUV “with both fists swinging at the officer,” and the two went to the ground right in front of the witness’s car.
Within seconds, a second officer ran from the direction of the second patrol vehicle, reached for her belt and fired, the witness said.
In a news release, The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, which is conducting an investigation, said that the man was “uncooperative” and didn’t comply with an officer’s order to exit his vehicle. He was pulled over in the 100 block of West Sixth Street, about a block from Massachusetts Street.
The man was hospitalized but is in stable condition.
The officer who made the stop was assigned to a special seat belt enforcement initiative, “Click It or Ticket,” which runs through June 3.