About 100 people marched to the Pasadena, Calif., police department late Friday to protest the death of a black man armed with a knife who died after being Tasered during a fight with police at his apartment.
Authorities said the victim, identified by his wife as 36-year-old Reginald Thomas, Jr., was carrying a knife and a fire extinguisher. Authorities said two officers were injured in the struggle.
Pasadena police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department have released a surveillance video and 911 calls involving the incident.
Police officials said no firearms were involved and that the case is under investigation by the sheriff’s homicide bureau and district attorney’s office.
The death, which occurred early Friday, sparked a largely peaceful streets protests by some 100 people who marched from the apartment complex where the incident occurred to the police department. Many carried candles or lighters or lit up their phones, the Associated Press reported, and blocked roads and intersections.
“Who’s streets? Our streets,” the marchers chanted, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. “The people united will never be divided.”
Pasadena police said in a statement that the man was armed with a knife and “did not comply with officers orders as the suspect attempted to re-enter an occupied apartment.”
When officers noticed that he was not breathing, they performed CPR and called paramedics, but the victim died at the scene, according to the statement.
Capt. Steven Katz, of the L.A. County sheriff’s homicide bureau, said the man was holding the knife in his hand and a fire extinguisher under an arm, KTLA reported.
The incident involved six Pasadena police officers, Katz said, according to The Los Angeles Times. Pasadena officials said two officers were injured during the struggle, but their condition was not immediately provided.
Authorities have not released the man’s name, but his pregnant partner, Shainie Lindsay, has identified him as Thomas.
She says Thomas himself called police to their apartment around 2:30 a.m. Friday when he realized he needed help. “He’s bipolar. He’s crazy,” she says.
Lindsay adds that he did not respond to police demands “because he was not — he was just out of it basically.”
Thomas’s brother-in-law, Forrest Elder, says he “was struggling with mental illness but the police know this.”
“He’s been in and out of mental homes where they help him and give him medication,” Elder says, according to the AP. “But he wasn’t treated as a patient or a victim. “He was treated as a suspect, and that’s how they treat us.”