As protests grew over the shooting of an unarmed biracial teenager in Wisconsin, police in Aurora, Colorado, announced an African-American man fatally shot last week also had been unarmed. Police Monday said the 37-year-old man, identified by the coroner’s office as Naeschylus Vinzant, was a parolee who had removed a Department of Corrections ankle monitor. The officer responsible for the shooting, who has not been named, was placed on administrative leave, the Denver Post reported.
Aurora Police Cmdr. Paul O'Keefe told a news conference Vinzant was on foot when he was shot once Friday. Officers were trying to arrest him in a kidnapping and robbery investigation. The officer who did the shooting hired a lawyer and was being interviewed by investigators, O’Keefe said.
"Police actions are going to be questioned to a much greater degree," said Nicholas Metz, chief of the Aurora Police Department, apparently referring to the national conversation about law enforcement prompted by several recent police-involved killings of unarmed black men and boys. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice released a searing report detailing racial discrimination and targeting by police in Ferguson, Missouri, where white police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown last August. The Justice Department’s investigation in Ferguson cleared Wilson of civil rights violations in the shooting.
Public outcry Monday was growing over the shooting of Tony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin, last Friday. The biracial 19-year-old, who reportedly suffered from anxiety and depression, was unarmed at the time white police Officer Matt Kenny shot him. Robinson, whose case was drawing comparisons to Brown’s in Ferguson, reportedly struck Kenny in the head before he was shot. Police had been responding to reports the teen allegedly assaulted two friends at a Madison apartment.