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Meanwhile, a few miles away, a cop shot and killed another Black man, 30-year-old Jeffrey Irons, after he allegedly shoplifted shaving cream and deodorant. The cops claimed that Irons grabbed one officer's gun and shot him in the hand before the other cop fired back.
Three days later, more than 300 people turned out for a rally organized by the NAACP and the Black United Front (BUF) as City Council members complained of more stonewalling by cops.
The president of the BUF, Rev. Damon Lynch III, had long been active in fighting police racism and violence. He helped launch BUF last fall, following protests against several upscale, white-owned restaurants that had closed their doors during the Black-oriented Ujima street festival that summer.
Faced with growing pressure, the City Council in mid-November asked the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office to investigate the killings of Owensby and Irons.