Monday, 2 March 2015

Homeless Man Was Unarmed-Witnesses

 Homeless Man Was Unarmed-Witnesses

Witnesses who saw police officers kill a homeless man on LA's skid row yesterday have trashed claims that he was trying to shoot them with one of their own weapons.

Stunned passers-by saw three officers fire at least five shots at the pinned-down man, who was confronted by cops on Skid Row.

Police chiefs have insisted their officers only killed the man because he was trying to snatch an officer's handgun and turn it on him - but the claims didn't wash with people on the scene.

It comes as police search for more evidence of the incident - including footage from a police body cam.
At least one officer was wearing a recording device during the encounter, and surveillance cameras were also overlooking the street. More witnesses are also thought to have filmed the killing on their cell phones.

LAPD officials say the man was wanted in connection with a robbery, and started brawling with officers who approached him.

Shocking video footage shows the man, who was apparently known in the area as 'Africa', lashing out at police, who force him to the ground.

Police first tried to use a Taser on the floored man, but officers say it had no effect. After the stun gun is fired, an officer can be heard shouting 'Drop the gun! Drop the gun!'.

Seconds later, five gunshots are heard in quick succession. The footage does not show the scuffle clearly. Outraged crowds soon gathered at the scene, accusing the police of unjustly killing him.
One was Dennis Horne who told NBC's Today program he has his own footage of the incident. 

When asked whether the man reached for a policeman's gun, he said: 'My footage don't say that, my eyes didn't see that.'

Yolanda Young, another bystander, said: 'He didn't bother nobody, he didn't have no weapon, they just shot him.'

Jerome Guillory, who also saw the attack, said: 'There was no reason to do that to him, the guy, he wasn't no threat to them.'
But crowds of people who were watching gave a different interpretation of the chaotic encounter.

Another witness, Lonnie Franklin, 53, did not comment on whether the man was trying to shoot back, but said the police's use of force was excessive.

 He told the LA Times: 'That man never was a threat - the amount of officers present at the time could have subdued him.'

 LAPD why kill a defenseless man?

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