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Relatives of knife-wielding man killed by police say he was not violent

September 7, 2010 |  3:28 pm

Relatives of Manuel Jamines, the knife-wielding man shot dead by police near MacArthur Park on Sunday, say the day laborer was hard-working but struggled with alcohol on the weekends.

“He liked to drink, but was never violent,” said Juan Jamines, a cousin. “I don’t know why police had to kill him.”

Sitting at the Guatemalan Consulate’s office to discuss the transfer of Manuel Jamines’ body to Nahuala, Solola, his hometown in Guatemala, Juan and two other cousins said they want answers from the police.

They also asked the community around MacArthur Park to remain peaceful.

“We don’t want problems,” Juan Jamines said. “We just want justice.”

Earlier today, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck offered a detailed account of the shooting. He emphasized that the department's internal investigation into the shooting had only just begun and said initial accounts from witnesses and the officers involved indicate that the officer who fired acted “in immediate defense of life.”

Police said Jamines refused commands to drop his weapon when he was shot. They said officers recovered a knife from the scene. 

-- Esmeralda Bermudez