LAPD Skid Row shooting: justified or overreaction?

File photo of Beck.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck launched his investigation into Sunday's killing of a homeless man by saying it appears the officers were justified in firing after the man tied to grab one of the cops' guns. At a crowded Monday press conference, Beck said the weapon belonging to a rookie officer at the scene showed evidence of a struggle. He said video shows the first-year officer shouting "he's got my gun" several times before three others shot the homeless man, who on the ground grappling with arresting officers. (Previously, me and others had heard the shouts as "drop the gun.") Beck suggested Monday that talking about the full details of what happened will come out only after the LAPD's investigation is completed or the episode goes to court. “At the end of the investigation into this officer-involved shooting ... we will release the complete investigation through the inspector general’s office,” Beck said. “If there is a criminal proceeding in this or if there’s a civil proceeding in this, we will make all evidence available through those proceedings.”

Protesters are scheduled to march through downtown this morning and show up at a 9:30 meeting of the police commission that was previously scheduled. Some Skid Row residents are calling the shooting of the man known as Africa another instance of overreaction by police who patrol Los Angeles' rough downtown zone where hundreds of the homeless and the mentally ill co-exist on the streets. Sunday's shooting took place right outside the Union Rescue Mission. The videotape posted by a bystander has been widely seen.

LAT, ABC 7, NBC 4, LA Weekly

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