Garrett Foster: police investigate Austin Black Lives Matter shooting

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Reuters

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Images of the shoot were posted on social media


Austin, Texas, police are investigating the fatal shooting of a protester during an anti-racism march.

Garrett Foster was pushing his fiancee’s wheelchair during the protest when a car entered the crowd, his mother Sheila Foster told US media.

As the protesters approached the car, someone inside the vehicle opened fire on the group.

Mr Foster was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after. Police arrested a suspect.

Tributes were paid to Garrett Foster on social media and on Sunday afternoon an online fundraiser raised more than $ 67,000 (£ 52,400).

Protests against racism and police brutality, as well as in support of Black Lives Matter, have been staged across the United States since the murder of George Floyd in May.

Portland, Oregon in particular, has seen 58 straight days of protests, which have been exacerbated by the deployment of federal agents by the Department of Homeland Security. Police frequently used tear gas, flash grenades and impact munitions on protesters.

On Saturday, marches were organized in several cities in solidarity with the Portland – Austin activists; Seattle; Louisville, Kentucky; Aurora, Colorado; New York; Omaha, Nebraska; Oakland and Los Angeles in California; and Richmond, Virginia.

Sheila Foster told ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday that her son and fiancee, Whitney Mitchell, have been participating in protests against police brutality for more than 50 days.

“He was doing it because he was very attached to justice and was very strongly against police brutality, and he wanted to support his fiancée,” she told the show “His fiancée is afro- American ”.

In a statement shortly after the shooting, a police spokesperson did not identify the victim but said she was seen carrying a gun. The New York Times later reported he was wearing an AK-47, like other protesters.

Carrying guns is common during protests in Texas, which has liberal gun laws.

Ms Foster added that it “would not surprise her” if her son carried a gun, as he had a license to carry and “he would have felt the need to protect himself”.

Prior to the shooting, Mr. Foster spoke with freelance journalist Hiram Gilberto Garcia about carrying a gun during the protest.

“They don’t let us walk the streets anymore, so I was able to practice some of our rights,” he said during a live broadcast on social media. “(But) if I use it against the cops, I’m dead. “

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