A homeless man who goes by the street name of Africa was shot and killed by LAPD this past weekend in the city’s infamous Skid Row, an area of Downtown Los Angeles that several thousand homeless people call home. According to witnesses, Africa had been in his tent fighting with another individual. When the police arrived, Africa refused to comply with police requests to leave his tent. Officers used a Taser on him and pulled him from the tent. Africa continued to struggle, which, according to eyewitnesses, led to the fatal shooting.
Several video recordings of the event were taken. At least one of the officers was wearing a body camera. An eyewitness recorded a video of the event and uploaded it to Facebook, which shows a group of officers getting into a scuffle with several individuals. According to Commander Andrew Smith of the LAPD said of the fatal shooting, “At some point in there, a struggle over one of the officer's weapons occurred,” and “At that point an officer-involved shooting happened." Smith continued, "It's always tragic when there's a loss of life in one of these situations. It's not an incident taken lightly by any police officer. But we are committed to everyone involved and to the public to conduct a thorough and complete investigation."
Police investigators will be combing through all of the evidence including conflicting eyewitness reports that support police’s claims that the unarmed Africa struggled to gain control of an officer’s handgun, video recordings, and additional witness interviews.
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