District Attorney Steve Cooley's office has decided no criminal charges are warranted in the LAPD shooting death of thirteen-year-old Devin Brown. The question was whether officer Steve Garcia broke the law Feb. 6 when he fired at Brown, who drove at Garcia and other officers after a late-night car chase through South L.A. "We find there is insufficient evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Officer Garcia to justify filing criminal charges," the DA's letter says. The Times story says that an account from a new witness influenced the decision. The Police Protective League applauded the lack of charges, while Mayor Villaraigosa sent a different message:
Along with many others in our community, I was troubled by the shooting death of 13-year old Devin Brown. Beyond the tragedy for his family and friends, it was a tragedy for our City.
As a result of this incident, the LAPD has changed its policy and training regarding shooting at vehicles, bringing it into line with most other major departments in the Country.
The District Attorney’s decision today clears the way for the department to move forward with their disciplinary review and for the Inspector General and the Police Commission to complete their independent review.
I have urged them to move swiftly.
The 21-page report from Cooley's staff is here as a PDF file.