Los Angeles, CA — A disturbing video was uploaded to Facebook last year prompting massive backlash against the LAPD. Hundreds of residents took to protesting after the video showed an LAPD officer pull a gun and fire off a shot at an unarmed 13-year-old boy. Now, the cop in the video, officer Kevin Ferguson will face no consequences for his near-deadly and highly dangerous act of negligence.
According to the OCDA’s office, they claim even though prosecutors thought the officer’s actions were reprehensible, they would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ferguson committed a crime when he attacked a 13-year-old boy, assaulted him with a firearm, and employed unnecessary deadly force—all of which was captured on video.
Before they exonerated him, prosecutors called Ferguson’s actions that day “unwise, immature and flat-out horrible” but said they did not violate the law.
“It is our office’s conclusion based on all the evidence, that we are not able to prove, the evidence does not support a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Ferguson committed a crime,” said Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh.
The video sparked heated anti-police protests when it surfaced 11 months ago and the decision to not charge Ferguson will likely be met with even more backlash.
As the video begins, Ferguson is in a verbal dispute with the child.
According to the boy, the officer cursed at a girl who walked across his yard. When the boy protested the officer’s language, that is when he grabbed him, according to witnesses.
“That’s not what I said,” the officer replied.
“Shut the fuck up,” the officer said. “You weren’t even there.”
A struggle ensues and another teen rushes at the officer, sending him into some bushes. As the officer is dragging the 13-year-old through the hedge, he pulls out his gun and fires off a round.
Luckily no one was hit.
Ferguson—the man who instigated the incident and fired his gun in a residential neighborhood around children—was not arrested. However, the 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were both arrested. The 13-year-old’s parents got him out of the juvenile detention center the next day and immediately called the LAPD after they saw the video to dispute the official story.
“The confrontation began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property,” Anaheim police said at the time after cellphone video of the altercation was posted on YouTube.
The boy “is alleged to have threatened to shoot the off-duty officer,” Anaheim police said.
However, according to both the video and the boy and his parents, that did not happen. The boy claimed he was going so “sue” the officer, not “shoot” him.
The dispute among the stories was the subject of the protests last year as riot police and civilians clashed.
“Calling and sending emails to APD voicing your displeasure will NOT impact the outcome,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “A decision whether or not to file charges rests with the District Attorney’s office and is based on facts and evidence.”
Demonstrators lined the block in Anaheim shouting "no justice no peace," as police blocked the intersection pic.twitter.com/INmixM69F6
— Melissa Etehad اتحاد (@melissaetehad) February 23, 2017
“At the end of the day, he should know better,” said one woman. “He was taught and trained on how to uphold the law. So why does he get to break the law now?”
— Gabriel San Román (@gsanroman2) February 23, 2017
After the announcement that Ferguson would not be charged, the LAPD issued a statement that read in part: “The Department initiated a personnel complaint and a Categorical Use of Force investigation following the initial incident, and we have been working with the Orange County DA’s office and have awaited their decision about criminal prosecution in order for us to complete our investigation.”
Residents of Santa Ana be warned, Officer Ferguson is still a cop.
“I still fear for our lives, for him living right down the street from us,” the boy’s mother said to the LA Times as she teared up. “Him being an officer.”