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Sheriff Baca calls for expedited probe of deputy shooting amid community concerns [Updated]

Sheriff Lee Baca this afternoon called for an expedited investigation into the fatal shooting of a man by L.A. County sheriff's deputies in Athens.

Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Baca has ordered that the investigation be completed within 90 days. Typically, such probes can take up to a year.

The deputies from the Lennox station were in the area of 120th Street and Budlong Avenue on Monday night in search of two suspects involved in a robbery, said Deputy Jeff Cannon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

About 10 p.m., deputies saw two men who matched the description of the suspects in the 1200 block of Poindexter Street and attempted to speak to them.

“One of the guys took off running and there was a short foot pursuit,” Cannon said.

During the chase, the man reached for his waistband; deputies thought he was reaching for a weapon and fired several rounds, Cannon said.

The man was hit in the upper body and was taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities would not say if a weapon was recovered.

Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson called for a meeting between Baca and community leaders to discuss this shooting and several others.

[Updated: Deputies say he moved his hands to his waistband causing fear he was reaching for a gun. The shooting occurred as deputies looked for robbery suspects. The other people detained at the time of shooting have not been arrested for any crime, according to sources.]

-- Richard Winton and Ruben Vives

Related:

The Homicide Report: Chronicling L.A. County homicide victims.

 
Comments () | Archives (14)

As a black man, I find it offensive when clowns like Earl Hutchinson claim to represent the black community. Earl is just another Jesse Jackson by another name, just looking for some fame to claim. He does not have any interest other than banging on his self-promotion drum.

As far as the shooting. If you are out and about up to no good, and the police stop you, the chances of getting shot go down to zero percent if you obey their commands. Whether you are black, white, yellow or brown, if you act as if you are going for a weapon, the game changes and the police have to do whatever is needed to protect themselves. God ole Earl does not get that concept.

I WAS IN THE MILITARY WE WERE TRAINED NOT TO FIRE UPON ANYONE UNLESS WE WERE FIRED UPON, I BELIEVE A CIVILIAN SHOULD NOT BE FIRED UPON FOR REACHING FOR HIS BELT, BUT FOR BRANDISHING A FIREARM (SHOWING OR POINTING). THESE OFFICERS ARE WELL EQUIPPED AND TRAINED AND SHOULD NOT USE THE EXCUSE AS "REACHING FOR HIS BELT" AS A REASON OR CAUSE TO DISCHARGE A ROUND FOR PROTECTION[TO PROTECT AND SERVE] THATS YOUR MOTTO NOT TO ASSUME, A LIVE IS A TROUBLE THING TO ASSUME UPON

amazing every time a cop shoots someone the victim "reaches" for their waistband. If I were cynical i would say they know what to say to not get arrested.

this same sceniro has happen too many times;Why can't the police shoot to stop a person rather than shoot to kill them, because they feared someone might have a gun.

The subject appeared to reach for his waistband as he ran away and the deputies say they feared he was reaching for a gun and so shot him dead? And the Sheriff's Department won't reveal whether the dead man had a gun or not?

This is only the latest of a number of similar shootings, and it appears law enforcement officers are out of control when it comes to use of deadly force. An officer's fear that a suspect has a gun and is about to use it has to be a reasonable one before lethal force may be used.

Surely an officer should at least see a gun before shooting to kill. Otherwise running away from an officer becomes an offense punishable by summary execution without a trial. Law enforcement officers know that many people run simply because they fear apprehension on a warrant for a minor offense. Certainly it's stupid to run away, but stupidity is not a capital offense either.

Since our law enforcement agencies seem incapable of framing and enforcing a reasonable deadly force policy, it is time our legislature defined more precisely when officers may use deadly force. And if it fails to do so, then the courts should do so since the use of deadly force constitutes a seizure under the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable seizures.

Most deputies have high school diplomas and are taught to always be in fear for their lives. If they have to wait to see the gun or for the suspect to fire first it would make the fight a lot more fair.Even if the dead guy shoots at them they are likely to be sued by the family. Deputies are not really looking for a reason to shoot someone regardless of color. But if it's him or me; let me live to got home.

In CA the police, through their unions and laws made by a liberal legislature, have created an environment of the cops vs. everyone else. And now the cops have all the power.
If you should should travel to a 'red' state, and, depending on the state, you will discover the police have a lot less reasons to pull you over when the state doesn't require seat belt usage, let's you hold a cell phone while you drive, doesn't require helmets on motorcycles, etc.

Amazingly, when you find yourself in a state where the people are allowed to carry weapons, there is less crime, less police, and less taxes. The police are far less unreasonable, maybe because the persons attracted to the profession are different in the 'red' states.
Just my opinion.

Maybe we should just leave you people to the wolves...........

Oh, stop it with this hand-wringing. If you are not doing anything wrong, WHY WOULD YOU START RUNNING?? You LOOK like a suspect they are searching for and they want to talk to you. Behave yourself and in two minutes you'll be on your way. Start running and you take your chances on how the police will interpret what you're up to. Innocent people don't need to run away when a police officer approaches!

Cleo Watts is exactly right, 100%! Our community's so-called "representatives" continually make excuses for bad behavior and paint everything with a racially tinged brush. It does us a real disservice.

Most comments here are posted by individuals with no law enforcement experience, and no concept or clue of what it is like to patrol an area such as where this tragedy occurred.

In cases like this, deputies do not have the liberty to "wait" until the person running "shoots at them." The law clearly states that if a threat of deadly force is percieved by officers, the officer may take whatever action he deems necessary to protect himself, his partner, or the lives of others.

Probably what happened here was the deps were chasing the real armed robbery suspect(s), they ditched their gun (s) while they were running or just prior, they took off, the deps gave chase through this very dark area, and the guy turned toward the deps suddenly. He probably did that because they were catching up and he needed distance and he thought that if he feigned having a gun, the deps would drop back for cover and that would give him some extra yards to make his escape ... and it didn't work out the way the guy planned.

What people don't understand is that county streets are very, very dark ... limited or no streetlights ... and there are, especially in this area, tons and tons of guns around. So, when you run from the police ... you're rightfully presumed guilty and presumed armed ... because you almost certainly are and almost certainly are or were. And when you do stuff like point your cell phone at the deputies, or pull out a BB gun or suddenly reach for your pockets ... you're rightfully going to get dumped.

Put yourself in the deps situation. You're chasing a suspected armed robber down a dark alley, he suddenly turns toward you ... what are you going to do? Wait until he shoots you in the face? Or go home at night?

Sucks that an unarmed guy may've been killed ... but doesn't mean it was wrong or didn't have to happen.

I know, the cops are racists; why don't they shoot to stop the threat; they should wait until they see a gun.

Heres the plan! Since its obviously such an easy job that any one can do it why dont YOU sign, up. Go through six months of training. About another four of field training, then you too can see just how easy the job really is. Dont forget to kiss your significant other and/or kids goodbye when you leave for work becuase its such an easy job what could possibly happen?

Oh wait, thats right. Its better to just sit behind your computer where the real action is.

You would think that the sheriff is running for re-election,,,oh he is next year. If this was a good citizen he wouldnt have bailed out of the car and ran. The deputy was in a danger and fearful situation. The deputy is also a victim in this as he has to live with this.

Sheriff, quit selling us out to satisfy the media and stick us with you for another four years. It is time for a change.

THE COPS (GENERALLY SPEAKING) LEARN THAT THEY AS 'OFFICERS' MUST CONDUCT AN ASSESSMENT OF A 'THREAT,' BEFORE SHOOTING STRICK LAWS APPLY. THEY KNEW BETTER; DID ONE STAY IN THE CAR?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_assessment

He was turned around, investigation lead to shooting thru a wooden fence, two on the side; one thru the back of the neck.


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