Originally published on March 3, 2015, at NationofChange.org
Responding to a 911 call on Sunday, LAPD officers fatally gunned down a homeless man resisting arrest on Skid Row. While attempting to subdue the suspect on the ground, officers opened fire at least five times when he allegedly grabbed one of their weapons. After a witness recorded the shooting and uploaded the video online, the LAPD began searching for footage of the incident recorded on witnesses’ cell phones, nearby surveillance cameras, and the two body cameras worn by officers involved in the shooting.
According to Officer Jack Richter, spokesman for the LAPD, officers assigned to the LAPD’s Central Division and Safer Cities Initiative had been dispatched to the area of East Sixth Street and South San Pedro Street in Downtown Los Angeles around 11:36am on Sunday. Although Richter initially reported that the officers had been responding to a 911 call about two people fighting on Skid Row, Sgt. Barry Montgomery announced during a later news conference that the officers were investigating a report of a robbery.
Eyewitnesses recalled seeing a homeless man known as “Africa” fighting with someone else inside his tent when the officers confronted him. According to a witness named Dennis Horne, officers ordered Africa to exit his tent but he refused. After several officers dragged him out of the tent, Africa resisted arrest and began struggling with them.
Concerned about the homeless man’s safety, a bystander named Anthony Blackburn took out his cell phone and recorded the rest of the incident.