Body Worn Video Steering Group
Sadly it must be reported that a person known as ‘Africa’ was fatally shot on Sunday 1st March on the infamous Skid Row, later pronounced dead at hospital. LAPD officers attending the scene responded to reports of a robbery, from which a scuffle ensued, possibly caught on a police body camera, and local CCTV.
The event was captured by a bystander known as Anthony Blackburn and uploaded to a social network. Reportedly, non-lethal devices were used to no effect, the circumstances remain unclear as to what led to the shooting.
Additionally, a woman at the scene picked up one of the nightsticks dropped by the officers, before quickly being arrested by 2 other officers.
Spreading like wildfire, the video has garnered thousands of views online. Allegedly one of the officers attending the scene was wearing a body camera. The 3 officers involved in the shooting are on leave pending an investigation.
LAPD spokesman Sergeant Barry Montgomery, told channel KTLA the incident would be fully investigated. “It’s going to be a long investigation and we will, you know, get to the bottom of it.”
Steve Soboroff, the president of the police commission, which provides civilian oversight of the department, told reporters the key issue was whether the dead man did indeed lunge for an officer’s gun.
Authorities were responding swiftly, he tweeted. “Thorough investigations by dept and our independent Inspector General proceeding simultaneously.”
Although it would appear more police-involved fatalities have occurred since Ferguson, from which body camera popularity has risen, it must be remembered instances such as these are picked up by the media and reported more often than normal, without real analysis of data there is no proof death-by-cop cases are on the rise.
Whatever the result of the investigation, the body camera footage is expected to give merit to the technology as a witness.
Citizens have already called upon gathering to protest the shooting in Pershing Square, several blocks away from where the incident occured.