Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


A car, a cop, a funeral, no criminal charges

We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Early in the morning of February 6, Devin Brown, 13, and a friend, 14, stole a 1990 Toyota Camry and went driving around South LA when the LAPD began to follow the car, which they observed as driving erratically. The car didn't stop when the police turned on their lights, and a 3-minute chase ensued. The car ran a red light and drove up on the sidewalk; the passenger got out and ran, the driver tried to back up. A police offer shot into the car, killing Devin Brown in the driver's seat. Reports said he backed up toward the cops, but an LAPD reenactment showed the police officer was in fact standing next to the vehicle when he started shooting.

Today prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against the officer, citing lack of evidence for criminal wrongdoing. The matter remains under investigation by the LAPD.

We are torn. Devin Brown shouldn't have stolen a car. He shouldn't have been trying to drive at all, forget driving somebody's else car at 3am. And it can't be easy to be a cop in a high-crime area in the middle of the night. But should this end with a 13-year-old dead? Why on earth are we reading in the paper, 8 months later, that there will be no criminal charges? Should there really be no consequences beyond taking the officer in question off patrol duties? If the LAPD will mete out some punishment, what's taking them so long?

Most Read