Update as of 1:00 a.m. EST: The Los Angeles Police Department, the independent inspector general and the district attorney's office will investigate the fatal police shooting of a homeless man in Skid Row, "very, very carefully," Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said late Sunday, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which is the LAPD officers' labor union, urged "everyone to reserve their judgment" until investigations are completed, LA Weekly reported. The union reportedly said, in a statement, that the audio "clearly suggests that the officers felt that they were in life-threatening danger."
A protest has been scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles following the fatal police shooting of a homeless man in Skid Row Sunday in an incident that was captured on video. Police said the homeless man, who went by the name “Africa,” reached for an officer’s gun during a confrontation before he was killed.
The man is shown throwing punches at the officers before he goes to the ground. About four officers are seen on the video surrounding the man, and at least one officer shouts the victim has his gun before the sounds of a Taser and shots are heard.
The officers were in the area Sunday afternoon responding to a robbery call, a police spokesman told the Los Angeles Times. No officers were injured in the incident, the spokesman said.
Africa was in his tent in Skid Row and fighting with another homeless person when he didn’t comply with officers’ orders to come out of his dwelling, a witness told the Times. “It's sad,” witness Darren Horne, 29, said. “There's no justification to take somebody's life.”
Another witness, Jose Gil, 38, said he saw Africa swinging at the officers and heard one of the cops say the homeless man had his gun when the shots were fired.
A third witness, Lonnie Franklin, 53, said Africa was face down on the sidewalk when five or six officers approached him. He said they “went straight to lethal force” when Africa got up and started throwing punches.
Los Angeles People’s Media, an online group comprised of about 25 activists, scheduled a protest for Tuesday at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in response to the police-involved shooting. According to details of the event posted on Facebook, the protest is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and involves participants filling out comment cards to sound off on the shooting. Organizers said they expect LAPD Commissioner Charlie Beck to be there “so we can express our outrage directly to his face.” About 60 people said they would attend the protest as of Sunday night.