Unarmed Man Killed in Confrontation with L.A. Police Officers

A fatal struggle between an unarmed man and three Los Angeles police officers was captured on video Sunday, reigniting questions over officers’ use of force tactics.

The incident occurred during the afternoon on Downtown L.A.’s Skid Row, where police were responding to a reported robbery. Police say the suspect—a homeless black man who frequents the area—was resisting officers. After failed attempts to subdue him with a taser, he allegedly went for one of their guns, leading to his fatal shooting death.

The video footage captured by a witness shows clear evidence of a struggle, but does not definitively show whether or not the man made contact with an officer’s weapon. One of the officers can be heard telling him to “drop the gun,” however, before the sound of multiple shots being fired.

The police department’s inspector general and the Los Angeles district attorney are reviewing the incident, but some activists have already called on the governor to appoint a special investigator. At least two of the officers involved were also wearing body cameras, according to department officials. That footage will be critical in determining the course of events.

The homeless man, who was commonly known by the nickname, “Africa,” had recently been released from a long-term mental health facility, according to some residents. He had at least one scuffle with another individual prior to the officers’ arrival.

Sunday’s shooting bears similarities to the 2014 death of Ezell Ford, which sparked protests around Southern California.

Read more about Sunday’s shooting here.


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