Los Angeles, Calif. – In a brutal display, Los Angeles police shot and killed a homeless man in front of Union Rescue Mission today, after he scuffled with officers.
A video of the event, posted on Facebook, shows numerous officers fighting with the man and eventually wrestling him to the ground where he continues to struggle against the officers.
The footage shows officers violently attacking the man with blows and then throwing him to the ground as four officers attempt to subdue him as he continues to resist the officers’ aggression.
At this point in the video, an officer can be heard yelling, “Get off my gun. Get off my gun.”
While possible that the victim went for the officer’s weapon, it must be noted that one of the tactics utilized by police, as a means of conditioning witnesses, is to yell out phrases such as “stop resisting” even if the person is doing no such thing.
Similarly, saying that someone went for the officers weapon is an accepted justification to use deadly force, and has become the default justification in many encounters where officers have killed unarmed citizens.
Suddenly a barrage of 5-6 gunshots ring out. Witnesses can be heard yelling, “Ain’t nobody got no guns!,” after the gunfire subsides.
No gun was reportedly found at the scene by police.
According to witnesses on the scene named Dennis Horne, 29, the victim was a man that went by the name “Africa.”
Horne said that Africa had been arguing with someone in a tent when police arrived, reported the LA Times.
After refusing to come out of the tent after being commanded to do so by officers, cops tasered him and dragged him out, according to Horne.
“It’s sad,” Horne said. “There’s no justification to take somebody’s life.”
Ina Murphy, who lives in an apartment nearby, told the Times that Africa had arrived in the area about four or five months ago. He reportedly told her he had recently been released after spending 10 years in a mental facility.
The LA Times reported that Witness Lonnie Frank, 53, said five to six officers pulled up in three to four cars as Africa was lying face down on the sidewalk. The officers approached with guns drawn yelling, ”down, down.”
When Africa got up and started fighting, the officers “went straight to lethal force,” Franklin said.
Protests are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in front of the LAPD Headquarters at 100 W. First, Los Angeles.
An emergency call to action has been issued on Facebook.
The video speaks for itself. Tragically another life has been lost at the hands of law enforcement continuing the pace of one citizen killed by a cop every eight hours so far this year.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.