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Victim of LAPD’s fatal shooting in Westlake was unarmed, witness says

A Westlake resident who said she witnessed the LAPD's fatal shooting of a Guatemalan day laborer said Thursday she saw no knife in the man's hands, contradicting the Police Department's account.

"He had nothing in his hands," said Ana, who did not give her last name and asked that her face be obscured on photos and on television because she feared being harassed by the police. "At the moment when the police were shooting, he had nothing."

Ana said she was across the street Sunday afternoon when the bicycle officers with LAPD's Rampart Division shot and killed 37-year-old Manuel Jamines, who police said was wielding a knife and threatening people in the crowded shopping district. Jamines' death has sparked protests and violent skirmishes night after night in the area near Sixth Street and Union Avenue, leading to clashes with the police and arrests.

Ana, who said she was interviewed by police on the day of the shooting, gave her account Thursday morning in front of a phalanx of television cameras and reporters during a press conference called by community activists. The activists said she contacted them after seeing a flier they passed out in the area.

She said she had just come out of a travel agency and was walking down the street when she heard the officers yell "drop the weapon" in Spanish. She said the man appeared drunk, and was having trouble keeping his balance. He stepped toward the officers, but it appeared to be an attempt to keep from falling forward, she said. Ana said she gestured to the man from across the street, trying to get him to turn around and let police arrest him.

But less than a minute after she first heard the officers' warning, an officer fired two shots into the man's head, Ana recalled. She said the impact from the shots, which she said were fired from about five to six feet away from Jamines, were such that blood splattered to the other side of the street where she stood.

Ana, who works in a school cafeteria, said she has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and believes that police have been over-aggressively cracking down on street vendors and seizing their products.

After the press conference Thursday, she met with state Assemblyman Kevin De Léon, (D-Los Angeles), who was on his way to a meeting with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

De Léon plans to ask the chief for a thorough and complete investigation into whether the shooting was justified, but believes opportunists are seizing on heightened emotion in the neighborhood to push their anti-police agenda.

"There are individuals exploiting the death and being opportunistic," he said. "They're not helping the situation."

Beck, who was heckled while trying to calm residents at a community meeting Thursday evening, has promised a fair investigation.

-- Victoria Kim

Comments () | Archives (45)

If she is telling the truth arrest the offices ,
if she is lying arrest her.

"Ana, who works in a school cafeteria, said she has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and believes that police have been over-aggressively cracking down on street vendors and seizing their products. "

Are you serious, Ana? That area is a like a third-world, trash-filled flea market where fake IDs, fake birth certificates, unsanitary food prep, and pirated products are sold openly. If anything, LAPD has been way too under-aggressive in that dump.


Why's this just coming out now?

Oh yeah, because people were pointing out for days that all the witness reports indicated he was armed.

Next time they need to fabricate their witness accounts faster, their lies will be more believable.

These people should have stuck to their lame "shoot him in the knee" arguments.

I read the article and have some questions..
1. How is it that she says he was unarmed while numerous witness statements say he was.
2. Blood splatted all the way across the street?? Come on... litte bit of an exageration!!!
3. She heard the police yelling "drop the weapon" IN SPANISH!!

How about this lady be arrested for making false statements!! Looks like someone is just out for her 10 minutes of fame!!

I find it funny that his family could not control him because he was drunk.
So they called the police.
The police do what they have to and now the family says they should have handled it differently.
Then the family shouldn't have called the police. They should have let him go ahead and kill someone. Then call the police.

I saw that poor man, and I gave him the universal sign language gesture for "turn around and let the police arrest you" from across the noisy, crowded streets, but he must have been drunk because he did not respond to my clear and direct gesture commands.

Oh and the knife? Ya, I didn't see that knife. Definitely no knife.

She's standing across the street with four lanes of traffic? I assume cars were driving by.

Of course she didn't see the knife! She was too far away.

You are a liar, "Ana".

Hook her up and take her to jail, NOW!

About a year ago, I witnessed two people testi"lie" in a court trial. It made my stomach sick. Enough is enough. Hold these people accountable!

Westlake is lawless. This woman is lying through her teeth. this so called "eye witness" has be created to continue the unrest and the agenda of this stronghold of the illegal aliens in Los Angeles

Imagine a thousand men armed with knives......who has the time to talk! Shoot to kill.

The plot thickens...

Well! Mayor Villaraigosa defends the LAPD for the shooting of a suspect wielding a knife. Villaraigosa can also take credit for allowing this kind of mob metality grow from this incident. LA is now one of the largest sancturary cities in the country. Chief Beck showed his weakness when he tried to give a conclusion as to what had taken place in an hostile enviroment. The mob metality is gaining ground in LA. There is a 99.9% chance that the suspect was an illegal alien. Look at what has happened in Bell, Maywood, Vernon and now Compton. Lawlessness is beginning to rule and now the police has to retreat.

Another case of planting evidence .
More than likely, the large knife was planted as evidence. According to another eyewitness, the victim did have a knife but it was a tiny knife.
History repeating itself.
Why is the eyewitness did not speak before? Because she was afraid of the Rampart officers!
Those who are quick to criticize the victim, please don't be lazy and take a minute to google the history of the Rampart division wherein "offenses [At the Rampat included] ...unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence of these activities." Wiki.

Why doesn't she want to give her last name? Come on Ana you're a witness.. I don't believe Ana. He was drunk, waving a knive to two females, one who was pregnant. Ana how close where you that you didn't see a knife? Ana do you want to become famous?

Ana's story fits better. It corroborates others' accounts and raises the obvious questions. At that short range Mr. Jimenas' head was an easy target. Note that it was two shots and not one. Exactly where was the knife at this point? Mr. Jimenas was apparently a familiar figure in the neighborhood. Might that officer have had previous friction with the victim? The pivotal question, then, is did the officer shoot to protect himself or deliberately shoot to kill?

So this is "Ana's" fifteen minutes in the spotlight. We'll see whether this prevaricating piece of work gave a statement to the investigating officers that's similar to and consistent with her current story, which has, in the meantime, likely been influenced by the activists with whom she now appears to be aligned. And Ms. Kim of the Times, why on earth would you publish a witness' uncorroborated remarks in an open and active investigation rather than putting her in contact with the police and District Attorney investigators? It smacks of stirring the pot; but, then, if there's no news or unrest, we've got to generate some right? This entire incident has reflected nothing but shame on the part of this neighborhood. The police did their job. Sometimes that job is distasteful, and sometimes it involves using sticks and guns. If you don't want to risk that, don't call them. Get over it.

The witness is a lier I'm sure. Probably one of the protesters. They are all stupid liers.

Stupendous, another coup by the LA Times! A spectacular witness. In fact, I have a friend, who doesn't want their name used nor do they want their picture taken, who has concrete evidence that Obama wasn't born in the US.

And like a previous poster wrote, blood all the way across the street? Well, may as well lie and exaggerate to the hilt. Another nail in the credibility coffin of the once-proud, now-desperate LA Times.

She's full of it. There's a huge difference between no weapon and holding a bloody knife. The cops didn't make up the knife. The reason they were called out is because this idiot was threatening people WITH A KNIFE. When the police determine that this woman is lying, they need to toss her in jail.

Let's say the police shot a person who witnesses stated was unarmed. What are the chances the Times would print an article detailing an "eyewitness account" from someone who popped up days later and admitted to being on the opposite side of a busy, crowded street, stating that he/she saw a weapon in the suspect's hand?

First order of business should be checking on her immigration status. Westlake is a lawless Latino ghetto w/thousands of ciminal illegals roaming the streets-she may be one of them.

I would ask Victoria Kim and her editors why the "community activists" weren't identified in the article. Did a particular group hold this press conference? If so, why weren't they named in the story?

She also saw the Virgin of Guadalupe appear above the sidewalk, telling her that California will join Mexico in 2012.

I hope Hernandez writes a perfect paper during the next exam and is promoted.

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