Momodou Lamin Sisay, son of retired Gambian diplomat, Lare Sisay, who also worked for the United Nations Development Programme, was shot dead after a car chase in the town of Snellville, Georgia, in the United States. The 39-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gambia’s foreign affairs ministry said it had “asked the Gambian Embassy in Washington DC to engage the relevant US authorities including the State Department to seek a transparent, credible and objective investigation in the matter”.
According to an Al Jazeera report, Lare Sisay said he would not pronounce judgment on the incident until results of an autopsy were released. He was also awaiting findings from a private investigator. He said that his son was “somebody who abhors violence”.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Friday said initial information showed that law enforcement officers chased Sisay when he failed to stop after they tried to pull him over for a violation. The GBI statement said that when he eventually stopped and officers approached his vehicle, Sisay pointed a handgun at the officers. The officers then fired at Sisay’s vehicle and fled to take cover behind their own vehicles. The statement claimed Sisay engaged in a gun battle with a SWAT team, during which one of the members returned fire.
The statement has been rejected by Sisay’s friends, who have called on witnesses to come forward.
The incident took place in the midst of protests against police brutality and racial injustice following the death of George Floyd last week, at the hands of a white police officer. African leaders have recently denounced police violence targeting black people in the United States, following Floyd’s death, which was found to have been homicide. On Friday, the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, strongly condemned Floyd’s murder, saying that the AU rejected the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the US”.
Umm Muhammed Umar