A bizarre series of events has left a man hospitalized in Los Angeles after being shot in the head by police on Friday afternoon.
According to the LA Times, the man was walking down the sidewalk with his arm wrapped in a towel, when he flagged down a passing police car. He extended his arm towards the officers, and one exited the car, saying, “Drop the gun.” Officers then shot the man, who, it was later determined, was unarmed.
A passing motorist recorded a video of the aftermath of the shooting. The extremely graphic, 20-second clip shows two officers turning the man over to handcuff him. His shirt is soaked in blood, and the back of his skull appears to have been blown away. As of Saturday afternoon, the man’s condition was reported to be “grave.”
Officials say that earlier in the day on Friday, Los Angeles police shot and wounded a man who had gotten out of a car, covered in a blanket, and was armed with a gun. There is no word from investigators on whether the officers involved in the second shooting were aware of that incident, which may have influenced their decision to react they way they did.
While some conservatives again call for more guns in the wake of the church shooting in Charleston, this may be yet another example of how the ridiculous amount of weaponry on our streets puts many police on edge. While we shouldn’t excuse the actions of officers who seem far too willing to use their guns, it is important to remember that police have to approach literally everyone they encounter as if that person is armed. This is part of what conservatives call “freedom.”
This is the video captured by the passerby. (WARNING: This is extremely graphic):
Here’s a report on the shooting, from CBS Los Angeles:
Featured image via screen shot from YouTube