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Police shooting of Thelonious McKnight protest

PATERSON — In protest of last week’s police shooting death of 25-year-old Thelonious McKnight, about 50 people held a rally outside City Hall on Tuesday night and marched through the streets of the city’s downtown business district.

Speakers at the rally took issue with statements made by Mayor Andre Sayegh after the shooting in which he told news reporters that McKnight was armed and fired at an officer before an officer shot and killed him.

The protesters on Tuesday night insisted that McKnight did not have a gun, and they repeatedly used the word “murder” to describe the police officers’ actions.

“They were determined they were going to kill a [expletive] that night,” Corey Teague, a Paterson school board member who is running for City Council, told the protesters.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, which investigates all fatal police shootings, has said a gun was found near McKnight’s body. But the state agency has not said whether the gun belonged to McKnight or if he fired the weapon the night he was killed.

Desmond Marrero and other yell in front of Paterson Police headquarters a week after Thelonious McKnight was shot and killed. Tuesday, January 4, 2022

“Thelonious McKnight was not a thug,” Joe Moore, one of the leaders of the Paterson Black Lives Matter group, said during the rally. “Thelonious McKnight was not a gang member. Thelonious McKnight was a kid. He was a human being just like the rest of us.”

For Subscribers:Paterson cop who fatally shot man had made dozens of previous gun arrests, records show

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