L.A. NOW

Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Villaraigosa defends police action in Westlake, says officers 'acted with bravery'

Photo: Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Police Commissioner John Mack and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck in a press conference offering a detailed account of a fatal officer-involved shooting near MacArthur Park. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday offered a vigorous defense of the officers who were involved in Sunday’s fatal police shooting of a man holding a knife, saying they were heroes who "acted with bravery."

One day after protesters shouted such words as "killer" and "assassin" at his police chief, Villaraigosa spoke at length about the circumstances surrounding the death of Manuel Jamines, a Guatemalan day laborer who was shot by a police officer on a busy Westlake street.

“Let’s be clear, and I will be, about what happened in the Westlake area,” Villaraigosa told reporters. “There was a man with a knife. That man with a knife was threatening individuals, innocent people who were on the street there. That man was in close proximity – in fact, the facts will show that actually he had his hand on at least one person at some point in that altercation.”

“We’ve got to go through an investigation,” Villaraigosa went on. “But when it’s all said and done, I’ll guarantee you what’s going to come out is that these guys are heroes, and I stand by them.”

Westlake, just west of downtown, has experienced three days of protests following the death of Jamines, 37, with two men arrested on suspicion of setting fires in the neighborhood during protests against the killing. Villaraigosa, who made his comments at an event devoted to a new city business initiative, said the neighborhood has seen homicides drop by 90% over the last several years.

He also voiced anger that protesters had shouted "murderer" at Police Chief Charlie Beck at a community meeting.

“I think those kinds of accusations are not only outrageous, they shouldn’t be repeated. I don’t know anyone in the command staff more committed to community-based policing. I don’t know anybody in the LAPD who has spent as many years as he has at Rampart and in South L.A. and on the Westside, with boots on the ground, actually in a patrol car, working with communities. I don’t know anybody that has more respect for the civil rights and civil liberties of our residents.”

Villaraigosa said the LAPD will follow an extensive process for investigating officer-involved shootings.

“It’s a tragedy that we’ve lost a life here. But under the circumstances, I think the facts will show that our officers acted with bravery in what they did,” he said.

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: From left, Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Police Commissioner John Mack and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck in a press conference offering a detailed account of a fatal officer-involved shooting near MacArthur Park. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (85)

Wonder what the mayor would have said if the officers involved in the shooting were white?

Hey Antonino...I wouldn't exactly call it bravery. Just say they were "aggressive" in doing their job.

I think that officers are well trained and prepared to handle this situations, but why to shoot a person, that's acting like
cowards.

old villar should have been doing stuff like this years ago. he also should have been much much more involved in the, "barrios" helping stop gangs and other crime in those areas and also speaking for those who feel disenfranchised in those barrios - instead of always wasting taxpayer money jetting to wherever and seldom completing an actual work week at the office and within the city limits.

I'm not a fan of Villaraigosa, but I'll give credit when it is due. He could have hid behind a "no comment until all the facts are clear". But, instead, he supported the police strongly.

Man the streets with ICE or Border Patrol and all the demonstrators will disappear. They know LAPD won't arrest an illegal immigrant for being here illegally. LA has become a cesspool because of its sanctuary status.

When is this clown going to be out of office! He is a ganster himself, hiring all his "home boys" into the LAPD. Get him out already!!!!!!!!

Villaraigosa is a sellout.

These people who are protesting are ridiculous. I bet if any of these people's kids were next to this lunatic, they'd have no problems with the police shooting him in between the eyes. Thank you LAPD.

This story has a very familiar feel to it, man has a knife. No real danger to anyone, he didn't threaten the officer, but was fatally shot! Well you can go back to the Amadou Diallo shooting back in 1999, or the Sean Bell shooting in 2006. It comes down to the Police having too much power, and a corrupt mayor to back them to smooth things over! There are a ton of non-lethal ways this shooting could have ended with, but abuse of power is always what it comes down to.

it time for them to go

I hope the people who joining the protest are not just doing it with the hope that the Police will make a mistake so they can sue.

Peaceful protest are not done with people littering the streets with garbage or starting fires. Have we heard from the protest organizers condemning the acts of the violent protesters?

Lay in peace Manuel Jamines. You can be anti-this and deport that all you want, but that man was human just like you and I. If somebody is acting beligerent and threatening people with a knife they need to be disarmed at all cost. If he were to stab an innocent bystander people would be blaming the cops for NOT shotting him. But I still feel compassion for the man because I honestly don't believe he would have behaved that way if he was sober. People want to throw the race card out there like it's the end all be all in this case, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Just my opinion.

The mayor knows one thing: do not p!ss off the police union.

A true hero would have taken down the assailant with less than lethal force. For that matter an person who can pull a trigger can be a hero too.
Someone please tell Villar the definition of a hero !!!

mayor VivaLaRaza, is one of the primary reasons for the terrible attitude towards the LAPD. he has also made the LAPD impotent to do their job, and the police know it but cant say it....

chief gates is rolling in his grave.... but he also gave us 'special order 40'.......

About as brave as the mayor was to go on record and tell a lie.

No doubt, they "feared for their lives" with their weapons drawn. Yeah, they were brave, all right.

A white man with a gun wanted on an outstanding felony charge in the state of Washington was apprehended in Sacramento, California on Tuesday September 7, 2010. How is it that 97.5% of all white men arrested with weapons in their possession, don't end up in the cemetery. And, people of color especially black men, without possession of any weapon whatsoever sometimes, end up dead every 6 out 10 encounters with one world order police forces through out these united states of america, given the same circumstances as their white counter parts?

There's nothing to explain here. It's unlawful assembly. Remember life is ruled by the old saying,"If you can't be Civil be Silent".


The point is this: if you don't follow instructions, you will most likely be shot. The police in this town is not playing around. Show your hands, follow instructions, and stay alive. They are trained to shoot, not to argue. If most of us were to try being officers for a month, we probably wouldn't survive. No thanks. I don't want that job. This incident was tragic. But what was that nut doing with a knife in his hand? Drunkeness, if true, is hardly an excuse. If he had stumbled in front of an oncoming train, would we blame the train conductor?

And before the (not so bright)rebuttals start flowing, allow me to clarify my "this has nothing to do with race" point. This man wasn't shot dead because he was undocumented. He wasn't shot dead because he was from Guatemala. He wasn't shot dead because he was a day laborer, short, fat, smelled bad, whatever. He was shot dead because he was threatening people with a deadly object, in this case a knife. I'm addressing those who believe the police are racist and used excessive force AND those who believe the shooting was justified and all "illegals" are somehow at fault for this. What were the cops supposed to do, let him slash innocent bystanders? Don't be stupid! Of course not. What should we do, deport all "illegals"? Don't be stupid! That's impossible. Thank you for your time and good day. Peace and love.

JDub81 aggressive? they were just doing there job. Why can't the community take responsibility. This all would have been avoided if the individual was under control. If the police aren't aggressive, thugs would walk all over them. They have to draw the line somewhere. Are the police supposed to run away when threatened? I surely don't want keystone cops in my neighborhood. I can only imagine if someone was stabbed. The community would blame the police for not doing anything.

Not sure what all the controversy here is about. Nor is it clear why race is a factor here. Looks like a separate agenda is being pushed by those who want to take advantage of this, which not only belittles the deceased, but is a disgraceful abuse of the freedoms that this land provides.

Witnesses, not only cops, account that drunk man threatens community, then threatens cops and lunges at them despite being asked to drop the weapon (in both English AND Spanish). what are you supposed to do after this doesn't work? Ask more nicely?!?

And for those who subscribe to the "why didn't they just shoot him in the leg" argument, you have a better chance of either missing or hitting a huge artery and having the suspect bleed to death than hitting them the way you see in the movies. Police are trained to stop perpetrators, which I think we'd all appreciate if a guy with a knife were charging at us.

Not sure what all the controversy here is about. Nor is it clear why race is a factor here. Looks like a separate agenda is being pushed by those who want to take advantage of this, which not only belittles the deceased, but is a disgraceful abuse of the freedoms that this land provides.

Witnesses, not only cops, account that drunk man threatens community, then threatens cops and lunges at them despite being asked to drop the weapon (in both English AND Spanish). what are you supposed to do after this doesn't work? Ask more nicely?!?

And for those who subscribe to the "why didn't they just shoot him in the leg" argument, you have a better chance of either missing or hitting a huge artery and having the suspect bleed to death than hitting them the way you see in the movies. Police are trained to stop perpetrators, which I think we'd all appreciate if a guy with a knife were charging at us.

Atleast the officers were LATINO hehehe

 
1 2 3 4 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.

Categories




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: