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Killing of Nigerian-born man exposes Irish divides

Last year, Nigerian-born George Nkencho was killed by police on the doorstep of his house in Ireland, his two sisters who witnessed the shooting say it was unlawful.

The officers had followed the 27-year-old after he assaulted someone in a supermarket, reports Stephanie Hegarty, the BBC’s population correspondent.

Police say they tried non-lethal methods before shots were fired, six in total, according to his family.

The Nkencho family, who moved to Ireland from Nigeria when George was eight, say they believe he was having a mental health crisis.

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They say they have concerns about the police investigation – that his sisters weren’t interviewed as witnesses until weeks after and that an official coroner’s report and that one they commissioned have different findings.

They’re also concerned that the officers involved may still be on duty.

The killing has exposed tension in a country where a new, diverse generation is coming of age.

The incident has also brought into sharp focus a 2019 EU report that listed Ireland as one of the highest rates of violence against black people, second only to Finland.

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Many black Irish people are wondering why this death hasn’t lead to a national reckoning like it did in the US when a policeman murdered George Floyd last year, our reporters says.

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