On Sunday, a Long Beach man running away from police with an attack dog at his heels allegedly reached into his waist band, prompting officers to open fire and kill him.
According to Southern California NBC4, cell phone footage of the incident reveals that the officers’ view of the man was impeded by nearby palm trees and that it is unclear that the man reached into his waistband. Police say the man was stopped in Compton for attacking a security guard with scissors. As the man exited his car, he was holding a stick. The video shows one officer holding a gun and another looking on.
Unexpectedly, the man bolted from the scene and ran down a neighborhood stairway, where two non-lethal rounds were fired at him. As the man reached the bottom of the steps, the video reveals him being gunned down and falling to the ground, where he remained for over a minute, writhing in pain.
In a press release police said, “Long Beach officers, who were located on the beach, east of the foot of the stairs with an obstructed view due to palm trees and shrubbery, heard gunshots from above and saw the suspect running toward the populated beach area, the suspect failed to surrender, and after officers observed him reaching for his waist band, an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
However, former LAPD detective Tim Williams, who is a police use of force expert, after viewing the cell phone video believes that the shooting was unjustified. “I do not see (the suspect) reach his waist band at all,” Williams said. “From my observations from looking at this video tape, (the shooting) is not justified, I think it’s objectively unreasonable and it’s, my opinion, is excessive force.”
The video shows the slain man lying on the ground with both hands above his head, free of any guns or weapons. An investigation of the fatal shooting is underway. In January, NBC4 reported that officer-involved shootings in Long Beach have doubled in the last year.