UPDATE June 22nd, 7:2P5pm PDT: LA Times reports that the LAPD Shooting victim is construction worker Walter William DeLeon.
Does anybody out there know the unarmed man shot in the head by Los Angeles police Friday evening?
For now, we’ll refer to him as #MysteryMan; a man who was shot after flagging down LAPD officers with a towel wrapped around his hand, apparently seeking help.
LAPD tells us he will remain in “protective custody” until he has given a statement to police, which might be difficult to do considering his brains were spilling out from the back of his head, as we saw on the viral video recorded by a horrified witness.
Meanwhile, police have refused to provide much of a statement of their own, except to say it is “policy” to handcuff people after they shoot them because of “officer safety.”
Still, almost 48 hours after the shooting, nobody has come forward to identify him to the media, not even on social media which tends to pick things up very quickly.
But surely #MysteryMan has a family or perhaps friends, maybe acquaintances , who are mortified by the gruesome aftermath of a police call for help gone wrong.
Police shot him after ordering him to “drop the gun,” claiming they feared for their lives because he “extended an armed wrapped in a towel.”
But he had no gun. All he was doing was asking for help.
LAPD’s saying he’s still alive, so why haven’t they released his name?
All they can say is they were following policy by handcuffing him after they shot him.
But is it policy to shoot first and ask questions later when citizens flag them down?
As far as we can see, #MysteryMan did not give probable cause to the officers to make an arrest, much less give them reason to shoot him in the head, so in addition to a personal injury claim against the city under state law, he’ll likely be able to seek justice for being falsely arrested in federal court too.
If he survives, that is.
#MysteryMan could have been transported to Cedars Sinai, Huntington Memorial, LAC USC Medical Center or Ronald Reagan UCLA Downtown Los Angeles.
Under “protective custody,” at least one police officer or security guard would be assigned to stand guard outside his door, 24 hours-a day.
LAPD is required to produce a citizen contact report and a use-of-force report.
California public records laws exempt police investigatory reports from public disclosure. Under the law, those records can be held in secret by LAPD until their investigation is complete or the victim expires.
It is likely police towed #MysteryMan’s car and had it impounded, too. If he had one.
PINAC’s investigative team discovered that there was no 911 or call into dispatch regarding #MysteryMan prior to flagging down LAPD.
The department’s public information officer said events unfolded so quickly that radio traffic from this car did not occur till after they called, saying the first call was for “shots fired,” then for an “RA,” which is a rescue ambulance.
PINAC investigative researcher Felipe Hemming, who spent 25 years as a paramedic, believes #MysteryMan was hit in the cheekbone, just to the left of the nose.
He noted that the incident’s proximity to four multiple Level 1 Trauma centers, along with improved surgical techniques, are the likely reason that #MysteryMan is still alive.
“These types of head wounds have a much higher survivability rate today.” he said.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the officers involved are from LAPD’s Security Services division, which typically provides security at city facilities.
LAPD confirmed that the officers were in a newer squad car, so there should be dash cam, body cams and full audio, which should always be recording.
Hemming believes the LAPD is stalling in releasing information as they try to dig up dirt on #MysteryMan in order to gain the public’s sympathy and support as to why he would deserve to be shot, even if he was only asking for help.
That’s just typical police protocol, even if it’s not official policy like handcuffing suspects after shooting them.
“This is a complete risk management situation,” said Hemming. “They are hoping for the victim to have a checkered history, and that might not be happening.”
LAPD said it will provide us with its computer-aided dispatch report first thing Monday morning, once full-staff arrives, which will reveal at least the basics of what happened.
CAD reports include badge numbers, vehicle numbers to all units that responded to the #MysteryMan incident, including the times they they arrived and departed. That includes fire department, ambulances or auxiliary units.
Until then, we’re relying on you, the readers to Be the Media and let #MysteryMan’s friends or family know to contact PINAC.
If you know #MysteryMan or are his family, friends or loved ones, please contact the PINAC Hotline immediately.
If you’re working in a hospital in downtown Los Angeles and see a #MysteryMan under guard, please call the PINAC Hotline immediately at 305-900-3069.
#MysteryMan was asking for help. Now it’s time for us to deliver.