Smucker Statement on Lancaster Riots, Police-Involved Shooting

September 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) released the following statement:

“Our community grieves and prays for the family who lost a loved one struggling with mental health issues. We pray for the officer involved, their family, and all law enforcement officers across our community.

It is difficult for a reasonable person to view the Lancaster Police Officer's body camera footage and think actions taken in self-defense were unwarranted. When being charged at by an individual brandishing a knife, there is little opportunity for de-escalation.

Situations like this require clear-eyed leadership about what is right and wrong and the appropriate responses. It is the Mayor's responsibility to secure city residents' safety to ensure there is no lawlessness resulting in vandalism, violence, or destruction. Lancaster City's revitalization over the past two decades is no accident. It was because previous mayors, both Republican and Democrat, utilized the resources at their disposal to establish public safety and reduce crime.

Sunday evening's riots resulted in vandalism, destruction of public and private property, and the actions of individuals, who, according to the Lancaster Bureau of Police, threw "water bottles, glass bottles, rocks, bricks, gallon jugs of liquids and parts of plastic road barricades at Officers," cannot be allowed to continue and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Peaceful assembly is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Rioting is not.”