Protesters clashed outside the Newton Police Department one day after police officers shot and killed a man in the Massachusetts city.
Michael Conlon, a 28-year-old Newton man, was shot to death after he allegedly entered Indulge!, a Newton Highlands candy store, with a knife. He lived above the store.
The group "Defund Newton Police" believes Conlon was having a mental health issue and the situation should have been handled better.
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"There are very specific ways to talk to people who are in moments of crisis, and pointing a gun at someone is never going to be helpful," said group member Maya Gomberg.
Supporters of the police say officers never know what kind of situation they're getting into.
"If there's mental health issues, don't blame the police," argued Fran Yerardi. "They got thrown into this."
Investigators say the owner of the store called 911 because Conlon had a knife. Conlon then retreated to his apartment above the store when police arrived, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.
Officers were sent to the scene, as was a clinician with mental health expertise.
The DA says officers used a bean bag shotgun and a Taser to subdue the man, but when that didn't work, they fired their weapons.
The shop owner's husband tells NBC10 Boston that Conlon was a frequent customer, always appeared unkempt and unstable, and when he came into the store Tuesday, he was holding a knife. He allegedly said he'd been off his medication for a few days.
The DA says Conlon refused to drop the knife and armed himself with a fire extinguisher.
The mental health clinician did not enter the building because of safety concerns.
The shop owner's husband says this is not the ending they hoped for.
One person was arrested for intoxication at the dueling protests.