By Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2020

Lafayette, la. (AP) - The second search for a new Lafayette police chief ended with six more candidates applying to lead the department that has faced scrutiny and protests over the killing of a Black man.

The Daily Advertiser reports that Lafayette’s Fire and Police Civil Service Board voted unanimously to reopen the search for a new police chief on Aug. 12 after Mayor-President Josh Guillory said in July that he wanted a larger pool of applicants than the four who applied in the first search.

“It’s a very important role, a very important position, and we have to ensure that we have the most qualified, most suitable candidate to fill that position going forward,” Guillory’s spokesperson Jamie Angelle said Friday. “We’re very confident in this process, and once it’s all said and done, we’ll have the perfect chief to lead our department forward.”

Police, responding to a report of a man with a knife trying to enter a convenience store, shot and killed Trayford Pellerin, on Aug. 21 in Lafayette.

A private autopsy found he had been shot 10 times, according to an attorney representing his family.

Lafayette officers followed Pellerin, 31, on foot as he left a convenience store where he had created a disturbance with a knife, Louisiana State Police said. Officers shot Pellerin as he tried to enter another convenience store, still with the knife, according to a news release.

Ben Crump, an attorney representing the family, has said family members believe Pellerin may have been having a mental health crisis.

The shooting death has prompted protests in Lafayette, a consolidated city and parish of about 244,400 in Louisiana’s Cajun country.

Local activists and protesters concerned about how officers handled their interaction with Pellerin have demanded police reform and training, as well the resignations of Guillory and the current interim chief. They’ve also cited a second incident of a Black teen being punched repeatedly by an officer during an arrest.

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