Los Angeles police chief says man killed on Skid Row tried to grab cop's gun

"It appears to me the officers acted compassionately up until the time when force was required," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday.
By Kate Stanton  |  March 3, 2015 at 5:39 AM
Leer en Español
share with facebook
share with twitter

LOS ANGELES, March 3 (UPI) -- The homeless man shot and killed by police during a confrontation in Los Angeles' Skid Row neighborhood "forcibly grabbed" for an officer's gun, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday.

"It appears to me the officers acted compassionately up until the time when force was required," Beck said.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Beck showed close-up images of surveillance and amateur video footage from the scene.

The images showed that the slide of the officer's gun was partly engaged and the magazine was dislodged, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"You can hear the young officer who was primarily engaged in the confrontation saying that 'He has my gun. He has my gun,'" Beck added. "He says it several times, with conviction."

Sunday's fatal shooting of the man, who has yet to be formally identified by police, was captured on cellphone video and posted to Facebook.

The video showed several police officers wrestling the man to the ground. Five shots ring out and the man's body goes limp.

Some saw the video as an example of unnecessary use of lethal force by the police.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told the public Monday to wait until the police department had concluded its internal investigation, which is expected to take five months.

"I don't think you or I should judge tactics or whether a situation was done right or wrong before an investigation is done,'' he said.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories