LAPD Chief Calls For Criminal Charges Against Officer in Fatal Shooting

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After reviewing the surveillance video of an LAPD officer fatally shooting an unarmed homeless man in the back, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck recommended criminal charges to be filed against the officer. Although the shooting was deemed unjustified, Chief Beck refuses to release the footage to the public.

On May 5, 2015, LAPD Officer Clifford Proctor and his partner responded to a complaint about a homeless man bothering customers near the Venice Boardwalk. After confronting 29-year-old Brendon Glenn, the officers let him go and returned to their patrol car. Shortly afterward, they reportedly saw Glenn struggling with a bouncer and attempted to detain him.

The LAPD initially reported that Glenn had been engaged in a physical altercation with Proctor’s partner when Proctor shot him to death. But on Monday, Beck told the Los Angeles Times that LAPD investigators had concluded Glenn was on his stomach, attempting to push himself off the ground, when Officer Clifford Proctor stepped back and fired twice, hitting the unarmed homeless man in the back.

Witnesses and the surveillance video also confirmed Glenn had not been reaching for the officers’ weapons during the incident. Instead of supporting the fatal shooting, Proctor’s partner informed investigators that he did not know why Proctor decided to open fire. Immediately after watching the video, Chief Beck stated, “Any time an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer, it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that. I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances.”

According to Beck, the police chief sent his recommendation to file criminal charges against Proctor last month to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Due to the fact that Los Angeles prosecutors have not charged an LAPD officer for a fatal on-duty shooting in 15 years, doubt remains whether D.A. Lacey will actually file any charges against Proctor.

On Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti supported Beck’s recommendation by stating, “No one is above the law, and whenever use-of-force crosses the line, it is our obligation to make sure that principle is upheld.”

Although Beck recommended criminal charges against Proctor, the police chief cleared the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford. In August 2014, two LAPD officers confronted the mentally ill 25-year-old before a struggle ensued. Witnesses reported seeing Ford lying on his stomach when the officers repeatedly shot him in the back. The two major differences between Glenn’s case and Ford’s: the officers accused Ford of reaching for their weapons, and no video apparently exists of Ford’s death.

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