A homeless man from Los Angeles’ Skid Row was shot and killed by members of the LAPD yesterday afternoon. The video of the shooting was recorded by a man named Anthony Blackburn and posted to Facebook. The video immediately went viral.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the officers were responding to a robbery call and used lethal force after a stun gun proved ineffective. Smith said he was aware of the video and would look into it.
“The video is disturbing,” Smith said at a briefing with reporters late Sunday night. “It’s disturbing any time anyone loses their life. It’s a tragedy.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the homeless man went by the name of “Africa” and was not carrying a weapon. A witness said ‘Africa’ was fighting with someone else in his tent when the police arrived. When the officers arrived, they dragged the man out of his tent and began fighting. Another witness said the homeless man punched and kicked the officers and tried to grab their gun.
“He didn’t have no weapon, they just shot him,” a witness, Yolanda Young, told KTTV. “They could have just wrestled him down and took him to jail, but they shot him five times. ”
“When they couldn’t apprehend him, that’s when they backed up and just started shooting. Pow, pow, pow, pow. There was five of them. They could have apprehended him,” added another witness, Ceola Waddell.