A homeless man was fatally shot during an altercation with several Los Angeles Police Department officers Sunday in the downtown area of the city known as Skid Row, police said. The man has not yet been identified. The shooting was captured on video by a bystander, who posted it to Facebook.
The shooting happened at about noon and the victim died shortly after at a local hospital, police said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1.The Incident Was Captured On Video
A man named Anthony Blackburn took video of the incident on his cell phone camera and posted it to Facebook Sunday afternoon. The video shows police fighting with the victim and a woman near a tent on a Skid Row sidewalk. The officers can be heard apparently yelling “drop the gun” as they struggle with the man on the ground. Five shots are then heard as bystanders scream and scatter. The officers then begin clearing the area.
“That man never was a threat,” witness Lonnie Franklin told the Los Angeles Times. “The amount of officers present at the time could have subdued him.”
2. Police Say The Suspect Went For Officer’s Gun
According to police, the officers from the Central Area district and the “Safer City Initiative,” which patrols Skid Row, were responding to a reported robbery in the 500 block of San Pedro Street when the incident occurred.
Police said in a press release that the robbery suspect began “fighting and physically resisting” the officers when they tried to take him into custody. The officers tried to use a Taser to subdue the man, but they said he continued to fight and they fell to the ground with him. Police said it was then that the shooting occurred:
“While on the ground, the suspect and the officers struggled over one of the officer’s handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Two of the officers suffered minor injuries and were treated and released from the hospital, police said.
3. The Shooting Happened On Skid Row
The Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles is known as an area where many homeless people live, many with mental illness, according to CNN.
4. Officers Were Wearing Body Cameras
Police told the LA Times that at least one of the officers was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting. The video has not yet been released to the public. The case is under investigation by the department’s Force Investigation Division, and police said in the press release that the video will be part of the probe:
Portions of the incident captured on video from various sources will be reviewed and analyzed as part of the ongoing use of force investigation.
5. Activists Gathered To Protest Shooting
Activists from the Los Angeles area gathered Sunday night in Pershing Square to protest the shooting. The protesters said the victim was known as Brother Africa and is from Cameroon, according to a tweet by Jasmyne Cannick: