The Los Angeles Police Commission has decided they want an officer charged with murder after he shot a woman carrying an eight inch blade, charged his partner and was only five feet away. The woman had been 70 feet away and the officers told her to drop the knife. Instead, she charged one of the officers and was shot as she got within five feet of the officer. The police chief, Charlie Beck, had investigated the incident and found the officer acted properly.
The commission sees it differently:
The commission stated that the first officer’s “position initially provided Officer C with a position of tactical advantage” but lost the advantage as the suspect came at him. They wrote, “this advantage rapidly diminished as the Subject continued her advance, leaving him with neither distance nor effective cover as the Subject approached the space between two parked vehicles by which Officer C was located.”
The commission — composed of five mayoral appointees and city council-confirmed civilians who broke ranks with Police Chief Charlie Beck — claimed the LAPD Officer violated deadly force rules, in the case which happened last year. Despite support from Beck, Guzman’s family and local activists want the officer to be charged criminally, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union for the city’s police have ideas on the commission’s report that is very different:
“The key facts in this case are not in dispute. A female suspect, armed with an 8 to 9-inch knife, charged at officers, repeatedly ignored commands to stop, and was recorded yelling ‘shoot me’ as she swung her knife from side to side.”
“Suspect charging from the front. Vehicles on either side. Where do you ‘redeploy?’ Run backwards. This is absurd and it’s dangerous. What happens if the officer loses his footing with a charging suspect? What happens if the suspect runs into a nearby home or store and confronts its occupants with her weapon?”
“What if the suspect also had a concealed gun? What is created when an officer turns tail and runs away is a large target. It’s called a back. The officer would put their lives in further jeopardy by running away if the suspect had a gun. At this close range, running away would create a self-caused danger to the officers and the public.”
It is doubtful that the commission can get the officer tried. Even if they could convince the DA to file charges, no grand jury or trial jury on the face of the planet would ever convict the officer.