A graphic video of the LAPD tasing, shooting and killing a homeless man in broad daylight made it’s way to Facebook earlier today (March 2) and now it has over 2 million hits. The video was originally uploaded by Anthony Blackburn.
The LAPD, who was originally responding to a call regarding a robbery in the area, shot and killed a homeless man, who the community referred to as “Africa.” The shooting occurred on Skid Road, in Downtown L.A. No explanation has yet surfaced as to why Africa was shot. No officers were harmed during the incident.
According to Los Angeles Times witness, Dennis Horne, Africa was in the the middle of a fight, occurring inside his tent, when police arrived on site. They demanded that he exit the tent, but Africa would not comply.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
“When Africa refused to comply with a police order to come out of the tent, officers used the Taser on him and dragged him out, Horne said. The officers tackled Africa to the ground, where he continued to fight, which led to the fatal shooting, according to Horne.”
In the video, six officers tried to subdue Africa after he refused to remove himself from his tent. In L.A., the homeless are allowed to be on the streets from 9 pm-6 am, which is why some speculate officers targeted Africa, as his tent was still in place after 6 am. At some point in the altercation, Africa began “fighting and physically resisting the officers,” according to Smith. That’s when a non lethal taser was fired at him, but it was “ineffective.”
Throughout the video someone is clearly heard yelling,”drop the gun,” four times before shots are fired. According to LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, “It’s clear there was a struggle for the officer’s gun” as there were no other guns found on the scene. However, later in the video we can hear someone say “Ain’t nobody got no … gun!”
Lonnie Franklin, who was across the street during the shooting said “That man never was a threat..The amount of officers present at the time could have subdued him.”