A surveillance video showing Los Angeles police officers shooting and killing a woman was released today by the lawyer for the victim’s family, who is calling for the cops to be criminally charged.
LAPD said Norma Guzman was armed with a knife, which made them fear for their lives.
Guzman, 37, was homeless, mentally ill and a known drug user, according to news reports, but those who knew her said she was harmless and was known to carry around a “bread knife.”
The video is not very clear so it does not show a knife nor does it show Guzman with her arms raised as if she was attempting to attack the cops with a knife.
Also, the two cops involved in the shooting, Samuel Briggs and Antonio McNeely, were wearing body cams, but that video has not been released, even though the shooting took place on September 27, 2015.
Police said they were yelling at her to drop the knife, but the available footage does not include audio.
Guzman’s family has filed a lawsuit, but it’s not clear if their attorney has obtained the body cam footage that would shed more light on the incident.
Police said they found an 8-inch knife on Guzman after they killed her.
Guzman was homeless and suffered from mental illness and was also a known drug user, according to those who knew her in the neighborhood.
One of the cops who shot her was a “probationary officer,” the other a “training officer,” according to a Los Angeles Times article from September.
The cops were also familiar with Guzman, but it is not clear exactly how their previous interactions with the woman turned out to be.
The video was released Wednesday in a press conference by attorney Arnoldo Casillas, who told reporters that the cops could have easily used less-lethal methods to stop Guzman, even going as far as backing up from her instead of shooting her.
But cops are only trained to shoot to stop any potential threat.