A video showing an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer firing a shot while holding a 13-year-old Latino boy during an incident near his home in Anaheim has led to protests in the California city. Nobody was struck by the gunfire, which occurred as several teens were standing near the officer.
Christian Dorscht has been identified by his parents as the teen seen in the video, which you can watch below. The LAPD officer involved in the incident has not yet been identified and has been put on 72-hour leave while an investigation is conducted, officials said.
The incident began as part of an ongoing dispute between the officer and teens from a nearby high school. He has been angry that they are walking across his lawn, Anaheim Police said. In a statement they said there has been “ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property.”
Christian and an unnamed 15-year-old boy were arrested after the incident, but the officer was not charged. He could still face charges after the results of an investigation are presented to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, police said.
The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon.
“That (the gunshot) was the most frightening part of it all. What if that bullet would have been, you know, I don’t know, a couple of inches closer,” Alma Jimenez, Christian’s mother, told CBS 8. “I didn’t see him being aggressive. I saw him being as calm as he possibly could. I saw him trying to reason with the adult.”
She told KTLA, “I still fear for our lives, for him living right down the street from us. Him being an officer.”
Christian told Telemundo, “I thought I was going to die. I thought he was going to shoot me because he was mad.”
During protests Wednesday night, people chanted, “Killer cops, off our streets!” and “Don’t shoot our kids!”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Christian Says the Cop Called a Girl a C*nt for Walking on His Lawn & He Came to the Girl’s Defense
Two cell phone videos of the incident were posted online Wednesday, bringing attention to the incident. You can watch the videos above and below. A single shot is fired about the 2:30 mark of the video above.
“The Anaheim Police Department is aware of the numerous videos posted on YouTube regarding yesterday’s Officer Involved Shooting involving an off-duty LAPD officer,” police said in a Facebook post. “The Anaheim Police Department Homicide Detail is investigating the incident and the case will be presented to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office when complete. Calling and sending emails to APD voicing your displeasure will NOT impact the outcome. A decision whether or not to file charges rests with the District Attorney’s office and is based on facts and evidence.”
According to police, “The confrontation began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property.” The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon, police said in a statement:
APD officers were called to the area of Euclid St and Palais around 2:40 pm Tuesday afternoon regarding a physical altercation between a male adult and several male juveniles. While officers were responding, additional information was received the adult was an off-duty LAPD officer, he had discharged his firearm, and was detaining at least one of the juveniles. Upon arrival, officers contacted the off-duty officer who admitted to discharging his firearm during an altercation with at least two individuals. Nobody was struck by the gunfire.
Christian Dorscht’s father, Johnny Dorscht, told the Orange County Weekly his son was coming to the defense of a girl who had been verbally attacked by the off-duty cop. He told the OC Weekly his son said the officer called the girl a “c*nt” for stepping on his grass.
Several students can be seen in the videos. The neighborhood is located near Loara High School.
The nearly 9-minute Youtube video shows the off-duty officer grabbing onto Christian and pulling hm along the sidewalk as Christian struggles with him. Someone can be heard saying, “you’re the one who started it.”
Another man at the scene can be heard saying, “hey, Kevin,” in an apparent attempt to get the officer to let go of Christian.
The officer then grabs Christian by the shirt and pulls him onto the law, as Christian says, “let me go, for the last time.” Several students wearing backpacks can be seen on the lawn following the incident.
“He tried to hit me in my nuts. That’s like a little pussy move, punch a kid in the nuts,” Christian says. He then tells the officer his hand is red and his neck is scratched while asking him to let him go.
The officer tells Christian, “your hand is all red because you’ve been resisting me this whole time.”
Christian then says, “no I wasn’t. You attacked me first and I didn’t do nothing to hurt you. All I said was ‘respect the girl,’ because you said ‘get off my property you c*nt.'”
As Christian continues to ask the officer to let him go, Christian pulls him toward bushes. Another teen comes over and tries to pull Christian away from the officer and a third charges at him and pushes Christian and the officer into the bushes.
Several teens then move toward Christian and the officer as they struggle in the bushes, and the officer lifts up his shirt and pulls a handgun from his waistband. Many of the teens scatter and after a few seconds a shot can be heard, sending the rest of the teens running.
As the officer continues to hold Christian, the teen says, “you shot me. You put a gun in my face. What the…”
After a few minutes a police cruiser arrives at the scene and puts Christian into handcuffs while the officer stands with his arms up.
Anaheim Police Sergeant Daron Wyatt told the Los Angeles Times the videos show only a “very small portion” of the incident.
Wyatt said the video began “several houses down from where the intial contact was made,” CBS 8 reports.
A video of the conflict has generated a great deal of interest in the community. Wyatt said it “picks up several houses down from where the initial contact was made.”
“Yesterday, he sees the kids walking on the lawn and he says, `Hey, guys, please walk on the sidewalk,’ ” Wyatt said. He said the teens responded with a “chorus of epithets.”
Jay Gonzalez, who posted the Facebook video of the incident and says he doesn’t know Christian, wrote, “This is my video on what happened during the whole situation yesterday and the man was in the wrong for even pulling out his gun, like honestly I understand why he would think of showing it to get the kids off n away from him but taking it out and firing it was hella wrong he had no aim Im guessing it was accidental but He could’ve hurt one of us there. … this ain’t right!”
Jose Tenorio, who shared the video on Facebook, posted a photo of the officer’s house:
A thug with a badge lives here… He called a young girl some nasty names and so her friends decided to step in to defend her and demand respect for her. The man obviously is no better than 13 year olds because he reacted violently! He hit a minor in his genitalia and used force to detain the child from escaping from his hands. He dragged the child from one end of the yard to the other and then decided to hop over a bush and try to drag that same child into the bush to get him over and so witnesses reacted by attempting to break up the altercation but the man reacted irrationally by pulling out a gun from his waistband and firing it, causing all the children in the area to flee for their lives but no one was shot. This man was an ‘off-duty’ police officer of LAPD! These group of people are trained to handle life threatening situations and yet he reacted like this in front of and because of a group of minors. The two minors were arrested and the off duty officer has not been arrested ‘yet’.
The American Civil Liberties Union of California spoke out about the incident on Wednesday, ABC 7 reported.
“An officer, even off duty, has an obligation to follow the law and protect public safety, rather than threaten it,” Jennifer Rojas, an ACLU official told the news station. “The LAPD officer’s actions on the video are grossly irresponsible.”
Read more about the Christian Dorscht incident in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:
2. Christian’s Father Says His Unarmed Son Threatened to ‘Sue,’ Not ‘Shoot’ the Officer
Christian Dorscht is accused of threatening to shoot the officer, his father, Johnny, told the Orange County Weekly. But Johnny Dorscht said his son threatened to sue the officer, not shoot him.
“What I’ve been told is that my son told the off-duty cop, ‘I’m going to sue you for hitting me. I’m a minor,'” Dorscht told the OC Weekly.
“During that confrontation, a 13-year-old male is alleged to have made a threat to the off-duty officer that he was going to shoot him,” Anaheim Police Sergeant Daron Wyatt told ABC 7 News.
In the video, the officer can be heard telling Christian, “you threatened to shoot me.” Christian tells the officer her didn’t say that.
“I said I’m going to sue you,” Christian tells the cop, as the officer drags him across the lawn.
His mother told ABC 7, “In reality he was saying, ‘I’m going to sue you. You keep hitting me. You’re hurting me. I’m going to sue you.'”
Christian was released from custody after being arrested at the scene. His mother, Alma Jimenez, took photos of his injuries.
The photos, which you can see above, show red marks on his neck and forehead. His parents say the officer attacked the boy first.
Police have not released the officer’s version of events.
3. He Is Facing Charges of Battery & Making Criminal Threats & His Father Says They Plan to Sue
Christian is facing charges of battery and making criminal threats, Anaheim Police said. He was taken to a juvenile detention facility and released to his mother on Wednesday, his parents said.
The 15-year-old boy, who has not been named, was also released into the custody of his parents. He was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. He told CBS 8, “I just saw a guy just holding a little kid, so I just wanted to help the kid out. So I tried to help him, move them apart.”
Johnny Dorscht told the Orange County Weekly his son has never been in trouble before and the family plans to sue.
“I’m pretty pissed off about what happened,” Dorscht told the OC Weekly. “You could talk to anybody, my son has very good manners. He does good in school and isn’t disrespectful or anything like that.”
He also said Christian’s stepfather is a police officer.
“We’re going to find legal representation and be suing,” Dorscht said. “This is B.S. Even the cops, when they got there, they had all the kids down. They didn’t even go after the guy.”
Christian’s mother posted a statement about the incident on Facebook:
This is my son on this devastating video. The footage is disturbing. This took place on February 21st as my son was walking home from school. I want to thank everyone.. family, friends and the community for their concerns and prayers. My son has an attorney. I have an attorney. We are still gathering more evidence and we will provide an update as soon as we have one. I want to inform the community that this could be any ones child. These kids walk to and from school on a daily basis. I want prevention. No one called the police. The two adults in the video wanted to take matter into their own hands. If there is anyone else out there who has more footage or any thing please message me. My attorney is willing to set up a community meeting/Q&A. I will post the date and time as soon as I have it. Thank you for your support.
A YouCaring account has been set up by the family to help with legal costs:
Earlier this week 13 year old Christian was walking with some class mates when he was assaulted by an off duty police officer. Christian was merely standing up for a female friend when this man saw it fit to lay his hands on a 13 year old boy and hold him against his will. Christian’s family is asking for you help in raising money to help with lawyer costs as Christian was placed in juvenile jail. They are trying to do right by Christian and see that justice is served. If you find it in your heart to bless this family, any amount would be greatly been appreciated. Any money that is raised and not needed will be donated to the local after school programs to help keep kids off the streets. Please pass the word along to as many as possible. Thank you and God bless.
You can make a donation here.
4. The Anaheim Police Are Investigating the Shooting, While the LAPD Also Looks Into the Cop’s Conduct
Anaheim Police said the case remains under investigation.
“Based on the discharge of the firearm, APD homicide detectives responded to handle the investigation. Several juveniles witnessed the incident and were interviewed by detectives,” police said in a statement. ” The off-duty officer is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and will not be arrested at this time. However, a complete investigation will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for review at the conclusion of the investigation.”
According to Anaheim Police, the LAPD will be conducting a “concurrent internal/administrative investigation.”
LAPD Captain Andy Neiman told the Los Angeles Times, “We will continue to conduct the internal investigation to determine the actions of the officer and the circumstances, and then we’ll consult with the Orange County district attorney as well to determine if there’s any issues.”
Neiman told the newspaper the officer will remain out of the field for 72 hours, while Chief Charlie BEck reviews the initial investigation and determines whether the officer can return to active duty.
“Anyone with information and/or cell phone video is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or by email at www.occrimestoppers.org,” police said.
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said the city is committed to a “thorough, impartial investigation,” ABC 7 News reports.
“Like many in the community, I’ve seen the video and I’m very concerned about what it shows,” Tait said. “Anaheim is committed to a full and impartial investigation. Our city will move forward without delay.”
5. F*ck Pigs Was Spray Painted on the Garage of a Home in the Officer’s Neighborhood & 24 People Were Arrested During Protests
About 200 to 300 protesters took to the streets of Anaheim near the officer’s neighborhood Wednesday night to protest over the incident. At one point, the words “f*ck pigs” were spray painted on the garage of a home protesters believed to belong to the officer. Anaheim Police said the officer doesn’t live in that home.
Christian’s mother was among those there, according to reporters.
“I just want to say how disgusted I am by that individual for the negligence he committed with my son,” Christian’s mother told protesters, a video posted to Facebook shows.
“My son is alive today, but if he would have not fought for his life along with those other children, he would be in a morgue right now.,” Alma Jimenez, said. “You almost killed my child. Stop shooting our kids. This is my son. He is 13 years old. He was not armed. He was, he pulled out, he reached for his weapon, he intended to use it.”
The protests was advertised as “F*ck the police” rally:
“Tactical Alert called for large protest in area of Euclid and Palais. Avoid area. Do NOT engage in acts of violence or vandalism,” Anaheim Police said on Twitter. “APD is prepared to make arrests. Acts of violence and destruction of property will NOT be tolerated.”
“APD helicopter is making dispersal orders. Protestors who refuse to disperse will be arrested,” police said.
Later Wednesday night, Anaheim Police said 24 people were arrested at the protest on misdemeanor charges, including failure to disperse.