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Activists to demand answers in fatal LAPD shooting at Watts housing project [Updated]

October 12, 2010 |  8:26 am
Police called a tactical alert shortly after an officer involved shooting in the Imperial Courts Housing Development.

A community group on Tuesday is expected to ask for a broad investigation into last week's fatal shooting of a man in the Imperial Courts housing project in Watts that prompted the Los Angeles Police Department to call for a tactical alert.

Police said that at least one officer opened fire after the man pointed a gun at him during the incident Thursday afternoon.

After the shooting, more than 50 squad cars responded to the scene near Imperial Courts, at 114th and Grape streets, to control a rowdy crowd, the LAPD said.

The Coalition for Community Control Over the Police is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday with the family of James Davis III, the man shot by police.

In addition to seeking answers about the Davis shooting, the group said it will demand an update from LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan immigrant in the Westlake district. Police said that man was threatening people with a knife when the shooting occurred.

The Westlake shooting prompted several days of noisy street protests in the district west of downtown L.A. Beck has vowed a full investigation into that shooting.

[Updated at 10:20 a.m.: Watts is among the most violent areas patrolled by the LAPD or the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, according to The Times' analysis of crime reports on the new interactive crime database, Crime L.A.

In the six months ending Sept. 5, the most recent with complete data for both departments, Watts ranked 12th highest for serious violent crimes per 10,000 residents. In that period, 366 violent crimes -- defined as homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery -- were reported in the neighborhood of about 41,000 people.

Since January 2007, at least 140 people have been killed by law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County, according to coroner's data collected for The Times' interactive Homicide Report.]

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: The shooting scene in Watts. Credit: KTLA

Crime LA