Speed Reads


Shooting of homeless man by Los Angeles police caught on video

Los Angeles police officers shot and killed a homeless man in the skid row area of downtown, and a video of the incident has been shared on Facebook.

The video shows several officers in an altercation with a man on a sidewalk Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reports. One drops his nightstick, and a woman who picks it up is quickly handcuffed. The Times says it sounds like one officer says, "Drop the gun. Drop the gun." At least one officer then opens fire, and five gunshots are heard. Police spokesman Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the officers responded to a robbery call, and at one point a Taser was deployed. The man, who has not been identified, was declared dead at a hospital.

Witnesses gave conflicting accounts about what happened: One told the Times the man was on the sidewalk and when he got up the officers "went straight to lethal force," while another said he would not come out of his tent and then fought after being tackled. One woman said the man moved to skid row a few months ago and told her he had been released from a mental facility after being there for a decade.

Police Commission President Steve Soboroff saw the video for the first time on social media, and told the Times the LAPD's independent inspector general and the district attorney's office would be investigating the shooting "very, very carefully."