Exactly what is happening, or has happened, is not really clear. But, what can be seen is there are several police officers on the scene, with several police vehicles in the background, responding to an alleged altercation with a homeless man about his tent.
Things are frantic and confusing on the video. Suddenly, shots ring out and an unarmed homeless man is dead on the sidewalk. LATimes reports that “no officers were injured”. (phew!) Like we expected anything else when a posse of armed officers confront an unarmed homeless man for not taking down his tent.
In Los Angeles, where the weather is mild year-round, people are allowed to sleep on the streets between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. This incident took place mid-day on a Sunday, so the tent curfew had passed.
LAPD is claiming that the homeless man, who goes by the name of Africa, grabbed for one of the officers’ weapons. (Sound familiar?) Seems like that, along with allegations of the deceased “charging at the officer,” are common mantras used as defense by cops that kill.
LATimes also reports that a woman who lives nearby, Ina Murphy, said that Africa has been setting up camp in the neighborhood for about four or five months and that prior to that he had been in a mental facility for about 10 years.
We have to do better than this. Death by hail of officer induced bullets should not be the punishment for being mentally unstable and not removing your tent on time.
Please be forewarned that this video contains graphic and disturbing images, as well as prolific use of profanity. If these things offend you, please do not watch the video.
Featured image via video screen capture