A still unidentified man was fatally shot in the back by Los Angeles Police Department officers Thursday morning shortly before 9 a.m. during an incident where police initially claimed that he had attacked officers with his skateboard.
The police have since changed their story and admitted that was a lie.
The shooting took place in a residential neighborhood near Ninth Street and Sycamore Avenue after police were called about a man who was allegedly breaking windows in the area. The responding LAPD officers saw the man who matched the description given to dispatchers, and they claim he fled from them on his skateboard.
The officers eventually caught up to the man after he either fell or jumped off of his skateboard. Then, LAPD claimed that the man would not comply with their commands as they attempted to detain him, so they got violent.
LAPD spokesperson, Officer Jack Richter, stated that at this point, officers tased the victim after using “a variety of physical force.” Conveniently, neither of the officers were wearing body cameras.
The police had reported that the man had attacked the officers with his skateboard, but that has been determined to be untrue. Now, the department has now changed their story, claiming that the man got a hold of the officers taser after it was used on him, and that he it used it on the officer’s leg.
The officer who was allegedly tased alerted their partner, and that is when they fired an unknown number of shots into the man. He was taken to the hospital and determined to be in critical condition.
He died Thursday evening.
Los Angeles-based journalist Patrick Comiskey, 54, was out walking his pet poodle and witnessed the incident.
Pretty sure I just saw LAPD shoot a man in the back on Sycamore & 9th.
— Patrick Comiskey (@patcisco) July 9, 2015
Comiskey told the LA Times that he saw the officers, one male and one female, attempting to get the man’s hands behind his back. The Times stated that he saw the male officer reach behind his back, and he assumed that the officer was reaching for his handcuffs. Instead, he heard a gunshot.
“It was point-blank,” Comiskey said. “All hell broke loose.”
Comiskey described the encounter as “a moment of madness and panic,” but reported that he saw no indications of a Taser being used during the incident.
Making the situation even more disturbing, a resident of the neighborhood took to Reddit to post about her encounter with the police on the scene, and her account paints a very troubling picture.
“The officers were incredibly casual and just said “someone was shot”. I asked if there had been a break in or a robbery and if there was anything we needed to be concerned about. The officer SMILED and incredibly smugly replied “the shot was fired by an officer. They shot a bad guy”.
Still confused by this statement, I asked “what does that mean though? Is the neighborhood safe, do we have anything we need to worry about?” to which the officer AGAIN SMILED and said “There was a bad guy on your block, but you girls don’t have anything to worry about, we took care of him”. He then glanced at the other officer with a look of satisfaction that I will never forget.” Reddit user, stuffshelbysaves wrote in the Los Angeles sub-Reddit.
The woman wrote about how the officer had acted like her and her roommate, who are 25 and 30 years old, were some damsels in distress and that the big bad LAPD had just rescued them.
“I am eagerly awaiting additional facts regarding this case, but so far, I have a very bad taste in my mouth about it. Even if it comes to light that the man was a legitimate threat and that it was truly necessary for the officers to exercise deadly force, the attitude that the cops on the scene had about the entire situation remains unacceptable in my opinion. I don’t want to live in a country where the police don’t even blink an eye when one of their fellow officers shoots someone for breaking a window. Cops should not value and protect a piece of property more than they protect and value a life,” they continued on to say.
This shooting marked the 6th officer involved shooting in the county in only a week.
According to The Counted, the Guardian’s interactive website tracking police killings, Los Angeles is currently leading the nation with the most residents being sent to early graves by law enforcement officers in 2015.
Eleven of the 98 kills by police in the state of California this year occurred in the city of angels.
The names of the officers involved in this latest killing have not yet been released.
LAPD has stated that they will release them once they have completed a 72-hour briefing and Chief Charlie Beck is updated on the investigation.
In other words, the Los Angeles Police Department is keeping quiet until they have time to come up with a story, that we are meant to believe, despite them already lying from the get go.