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LAPD officers who shot immigrant acted 'in immediate defense of life,' Beck says

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck on Tuesday offered a detailed account of a fatal officer-involved shooting near MacArthur Park that has sparked community protests and scattered unrest.

Homicide Report Emphasizing that the department's internal investigation into the shooting had only just begun, Beck said initial accounts from witnesses and the involved officers indicate the officer who fired acted "in immediate defense of life."

Three officers assigned to the Rampart Division's bicycle unit were responding to a different radio call Sunday afternoon when they were flagged down by a pedestrian, who told them a man was threatening passersby with a knife nearby, Beck told the Los Angeles Police Commission, which oversees the LAPD.

The officers rode to the corner of Sixth Street and Union Avenue, observing the man as he continued to threaten people with a knife, Beck said. They confronted him with their weapons drawn, ordering him repeatedly in English and Spanish to drop the knife, according to Beck. The man instead raised the knife over his head and advanced toward the officers, at which point one of the officers fired two rounds.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. In response to a reporter's question about whether the officers could have used nonlethal weapons to subdue the man, Beck said bicycle officers frequently do not carry with them the selection of beanbag rifles and other weapons found in a traditional patrol car. It was not immediately known whether the officers were equipped with Taser stun guns.

As with all officer-involved shootings and other serious uses of force, investigators from the department's Force Investigation Division will spend the next several months investigating and re-creating the shooting, and compiling their findings into a report.

A review board of command-level officers then advise Beck on whether the officer's tactics, decision to brandish a weapon and decision to use the weapon were appropriate. Beck, in turn, makes his recommendations to the commission, which has the final word on adjudicating incidents. The entire process frequently takes about a year to complete.

Beck said the investigation would be as transparent "as humanly possible." It is difficult, however, for the public to track such inquiries since the investigation and deliberations are confidential.

The commission's inspector general is expected to release a public summary of the commission's findings, but neglected to publish scores of the reports in recent years and is now working to dig out from the large backlog. If officers are determined to have acted outside of department policy, they can face discipline ranging from more training to dismissal.

In reference to the protests and isolated cases of bottle and rock throwing that officers have endured since the shooting, Beck said the protesters represented "a very small" part of the Rampart neighborhood. He called on "everyone in Rampart to act appropriately. This is not a time to tear the community apart." 

Four people were arrested during the demonstrations and three officers were injured.

-- Joel Rubin at LAPD headquarters

Photo: A crowd gathers at a makeshift memorial at West Sixth Street and South Union Avenue, where a 37-year-old Guatemalan day laborer was shot and killed by LAPD officers Sunday. Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (115)

Most of those people are UNINVITED guests in our country and this is how they react to the police doing their job. The police were called because a man had a knife. The man charged the police w/the knife and the police did what they were trained to do. Imagine if the man had injured or killed an innocent person on the street!

look at the photo - what are these people teaching their kids?

Aim for the center of mass.

Where any of you there? I have friends who live only a block away from where it happened. One of them saw what happened, and the man was in no way threatening the officer. He didn't even have a knife. Why do you think they haven't presented the knife as evidence? The officer actually shot him twice in the chest and twice in the head. The fourth shot, which was to the head, was after the man had already fallen to the floor. Then to top it all off they handcuff him afterward. Now tell me, is that not more than necessary force? Is that not cruelty?....???

Then after people started to tell the officer that he was a murderer he started to laugh. Plenty of people where around and they new Manuel Jamines was not a threat to anyone. Then while the police were waiting for the coroner to show up, they ordered about 20 boxes of pizza and ate it while he was laying dead on the ground.

I'm OK with them having to shoot. But why not shoot him in the leg or arm? That way you can disarm the guy and avoid having to kill someone.

As usual, there's a rush to judgment on both sides. Those protesting the shooting reflexively assume all cops just want to kill people for little to no reason, and those defending the shooting just as reflexively side with the cops.

It is irresponsible for Beck to say what he said defending the officer. There are two official procedural steps to be completed before any findings are presented to Beck. By coming out in defense of the officer now, Beck reinforces the idea in the minds of some of the public that the investigation is a sham, aimed at a predetermined outcome of exonerating the officer.

The LAPD has an inglorious, shameful history of mishandling investigations into officer-involved shootings.

For those saying where's the taser/club etc etc, read the article again. Bunch of little whining kids that don't read the directions.

QUOTE "...Beck said bicycle officers frequently do not carry with them the selection of beanbag rifles and other weapons found in a traditional patrol car. It was not immediately known whether the officers were equipped with Taser stun guns. "

Maybe they didn't use a taser because they might not have had one?

What a deceptive headline and you guys know it. Would it have taken much more effort to say "Chief Beck" instead of "Beck"? You guys make it look like Glenn Beck is trying to be controversial. Sick of the LA Times editorial.

I imagine most people posting here have never used a weapon under stressful situations before.... only in La-La land can you expect to shoot the hands or legs and stop an attacker like they do in the movies.

even if the cop is a good shot and shoots the legs, an attacker may still charge at the cop with the aid of drugs or just adrenaline..... the attacker may close the distance in an instant and hurt the police officer.

chest and head shots are the only places to shoot to stop an attacker.

What is really sad is that officers who work Rampart Division put their lives on the line every day to protect the very same community that spits in their eye. All of those say that cops terrorize them really need to take an honest look at themselves. Are the police harassing you when they discover you don't have a license and impound your car? Are the police the bad guys for arresting your kids and imposing consequences on them when you failed to do so as a parent? If the Rampart community does not take a hard look inward they will turn Los Angeles into the very place that they originally ran from. For all its faults this is still the greatest nation in existance (and I say that as an immigrant who knows what an oppresive government looks like). God Bless America!!!

A bunch of WHITE Racist!!!! Cant wait when your kind becomes the minority, you will get own your medicine. Your hate just fuels them more to know in 40 years your white kids will have to deal with discrimination.

You people have never learned a lesson but time has come and your time is up! payback is a bit*h. Hate is contagious, you've spread this vile disease and it will come back and bite on WHITIES ballz. LOL

I cant wait.......

Just in.

"The Guatemalan State Dept issued a warning to all Guatemalan TOURISTS who may be visiting the Echo Park area of Los Angeles on VACATION that they cannot help you if you choose to drug up and attack citizens of the United States or other TOURISTS in the area. "

Wait, TOURISTS come to the area, take some photos, go to a Dodgers game, spend a little money and then LEAVE. We actually have refugees living here.

How about taking responsibility?

Cop sees man running around brandishing a knife, obviously on something, threatening people....cop shoots him. Responsibility taken.

Illegal running around acting a fool drunk and committing other tortious activities...gets shot when could have been tasered, beaned, knightsticked, etc. Responsibility taken.

Or, family says "well, thats what you get for being a drunk idiot..." Then responsibility is taken.

The article mentions that he was apparently drunk and threatening other people with a knife before the police were flagged down, and that he continued to threaten the police. The only details I would like to know is what was the size of the knife, as I am sure the article would have made mention of it if it was only the size of a small pocket knife, and if this guy was legally here. Why? Because this would be a good argument if the guy is illegally here and acting like this, helping to make a case of how many people who are not supposed to be here are committing crimes

As far as the rioting goes, it goes to show how a perpetual ignorant portion of L.A. residents can get all up in arms over something they are not intelligent enough to get up in arms about. There are multiple past stories of suicide by cop in other parts of the greater metropolitan area of L.A. and surrounding counties, with people shot holding toy guns, and other weapon lookalike objects, and I don't see people getting up in arms over that.

As a retired peace officer I can say that a subject with a knife has to be considered very dangerous. Unlike small calibre bullets, knives can penetrate most bullet-proof vests and can inflict dire wounds.

The cops should have all these protesting illegals come to a big auditorium by telling them they can make a group complaint and possibly get some money by making a big law suit. Then have ICE jump out and bust them.

Seems like a lot of L.A. Times readers are racist jerks. Hey, the Daily News is cheaper! Just pick up that rag and blast your stupid hate on the original, BROWN inhabitants of this land. Talk about immigrants...why not go back to Ireland, Germany or wherever your ancestors came from? There will be no more need for sunblock, facelifts, botox then ;)

I just heard on NPR that they are reporting the man was drunk.

Listen to which way LA on kcrw tonight for more information.

Also, this story doesn't having anything in the world to do with immigration. honestly people.

I has to do with the lapd once again shooting to kill as a first response and the lack of a consistent story about what happened coming out of their office.

Why, if this was a justified shooting, is the story so different every time i read about it?

"Are the bike officers not trained enough to wound the legs the knee caps?"

A knee cap is a small target and you risk missing and hitting another person. I don't know where they eventually shot the guy, but a well placed shot to the chest is safest for bystanders. This man did not seem to care for his own life so why should an officer try for a risky shot in a tense situation where time is a factor?

"And of course a call for back-up was out of the question."

The man frightened bystanders enough that the police were called. Should the police wait around for the suspect to attack other people before taking action?

"All this means little to most bloggers until it happens to a loved one, then watch out."

My loved ones don't get drunk and go after police officers with a knife. If they did, I would criticize my loved one for it.

typical la times headline. "police shoot immigrant"

uh, la times how about

"police shoot man coming at them with knife"

To all you ignorant third world ingrates - don't get drunk and point knives at police officers -

------ I heard he was shot TWICE in the head.

Does anyone know?


You know what the sad thing about all of this is, there has been 95 homicides within that community, and not one protest, seems kind of sad to me, that they would defend a man that was chasing people with a knife, who was gunned down, and wouldn't be out in the streets day in and day out en mass, trying to stop the senseless killings, that in some cases take innocent lives.

Deja Vu? Remember the Eulia Love matter in 1979? LAPD was unjustly roasted and toasted by the Feds, the Los Angeles City Council, the Police Commission and Mayor Tom Bradley, for someone who came at officers with a butcher knife.

Sounds like this guy didn't forget to pay his gas bill. (Yuk, Yuk)

I believe both were justifiable shootings.

Who was the idiot asking if " whether the officers could have used nonlethal weapons to subdue the man"?

What exactly did he/she have in mind? Crosscheck? Trap block? Kung Fu Lightening?

Legal or illegal if you are drunk and you threaten someone with a knife, you don't have any rights. Congratulations LAPD on a prompt and efficient response.

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