Southern California -- this just in

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

Cop who shot 'innocent' man won't be charged

March 16, 2009 |  5:51 pm

Prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against an Anaheim police officer who shot and killed an “innocent” 20-year-old man in his front yard in October, a spokeswoman said today.

The Orange County District Attorney’s investigation was limited to determining whether a crime was committed when the officer shot Julian Alexander late last year, said spokeswoman Susan Kang Schroeder.

Prosecutors “can’t prove that a crime has occurred beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said.

The shooting happened in the early morning hours of Oct. 24, when Alexander heard a commotion and emerged from his house holding what authorities say was either a broomstick or a shower rod.

He ran into an Anaheim police officer who was chasing burglary suspects, and the officer shot him twice in the chest. Alexander was handcuffed and taken to UCI Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Within hours of the shooting, Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said Alexander was innocent of any wrongdoing and apologized for the shooting, calling it "a tragic situation."

The officer, who has not been publicly identified, was placed on paid leave soon after the incident. He was back on patrol by mid-December.

--Paloma Esquivel