The fatal shooting Sunday of a homeless man by Los Angeles Police Department officers that was caught on video is spurring outrage in California and around the country. Critics are questioning why deadly force was used, given the number of officers on the scene and reports indicating the man, who witnesses said suffered from mental illness, did not have a weapon, at least when the altercation began.
The graphic video—posted to Facebook and viewed several million times overnight—comes as just the latest example of a police shooting caught on camera and is sure to add to the national outrage surrounding excessive force used by law enforcement.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
In addition to what can be seen on the video, firsthand witnesses to the shooting confirmed the man was acting violently and combatively but suggested he was not such a threat he deserved to be shot dead.
According to Yolanda Young, who spoke to local media, the man “was down but then he jumped up, like he was juiced up, and then he started swinging at the police and they were fighting him back,” before he was tackled to the ground.
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“He didn’t have no weapon, they just shot him,” she continued. “They could have just wrestled him down and took him to jail, but they shot him five times.”
According to local CBS-affiliate KTLA, a man in the video, apparently an officer, is heard yelling during the scuffle: “Drop the gun. Drop the gun. He has a gun.” Police can then be seen opening fire.
And the Times adds:
The Times reports that civil rights advocates are demanding further answers from the LAPD and called for an immediate and impartial investigation into the shooting.
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