Witnesses report that the suspect did not have a gun and stated that the officers could have taken control without lethal force. Five shots seem to have been fired, and there were four officers at the scene. The man died at the scene. An amateur video has been posted of the entire scene here. (Please note that the video contains graphic content).
The LAPD announced March 2, 2015, that there would be an investigation into the shooting. The Force Investigation Division is heading the investigation, with collaboration from the LAPD’s Office of the Inspector General. The finding will be submitted to the Police Commission, which is a civilian panel that oversees the police department. The panel will determine if the use of force is consistent with department policies.
A civil rights leader in the community, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, expressed concern about police policies in this specific neighborhood, particularly because the residents often suffer from mental problems. The National Acton Network, a civil rights advocacy group, has also called for a meeting to discuss police policies.
This situation has the potential to be a huge civil rights issue regarding the homeless. If you or a loved one has experienced similar treatment, then contact a civil rights attorney as soon as possible. Call The Law Firm of Kallis& Associates at 408-971-4655 to speak to one of their experienced Civil Rights Attorneys.