Another day, another police shooting. Footage uploaded to Facebook on Sunday reportedly shows an LAPD officer opening fire five times and killing a man who was, according to initial reports, homeless.
The LA Times reports that the man was killed during a dramatic showdown on LA’s skid row, when police responded to reports of an altercation in the area. In the video, originally uploaded by one Anthony Blackburn, the man scuffles with four officers even after he’s wrestled to the ground. One of the officers can be heard telling him to “drop the gun” before they open fire.
A video of the incident posted on Facebook (contains foul language) shows a group of officers getting into a scuffle with a man standing on a sidewalk littered with tents and other debris.
During the struggle, one officer drops his nightstick, which is picked up by a woman on the street. Two officers handcuff the woman.
The man continues to scuffle with four of the officers, even after he’s wrestled to the ground. One of the officers is heard saying “Drop the gun. Drop the gun.”
Then, at least one of the officers opens fire on the man, who remained on the ground with at least two officers near him.
Five gunshots are heard on the recording.
Police have not identified the dead man or said how many officers were involved, or how many shots were fired. The man was declared dead at a hospital shortly after the shooting, which occurred about noon, according to police spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery.
Following the shooting, the man holding the camera can be heard repeatedly cursing, before shouting that, “They just killed that man! Just shot that motherf*cking man like that.”
Some of the witnesses noted that the officers went “right to lethal force” when the man, identified only as “Africa,” started to fight. At least one, who idengified himself as Booker T. Washington, noted that “Africa” had been “shot over a tent.”
Jose Gil, 38, said that he saw a bit more. According to Gil, “Africa” went swinging for the police, and the police can be heard saying “Gun, gun, he’s got my gun” before they fired multiple shots. Another witness, who the Times didn’t identify, confirmed Gil’s story, noting that “Africa” went for one of the officer’s weapons, but said there were seven shots, not five.
“Africa” was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Before watching the video, note that it’s extremely graphic and the profanity is quite loud.
[h/t and photo credit RS]