Surveillance Video Shows 18-Year-Old Shot By LAPD Allegedly Carrying A Gun
Police have released a video of Carnell Snell Jr. that appears to show the teen carrying a handgun while attempting to evade officers. Snell, 18, was one of two men shot and killed by police over the weekend. Carnell Snell Jr., 18, was fatally shot by police following a car pursuit in South L.A. on Saturday. Officials say that police saw a car with paper license plates and tried to pull the car over at about 1 p.m. The driver allegedly fled the scene, causing police to give chase. Near 106th St. and Western, two passengers got out of the car and ran in different directions. Snell was shot and killed by police as he ran behind a house on 107th Street. According to relatives, the home where Snell was shot was also where he lived. Police fired at Snell six times, hitting him twice, according to ABC 7. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, a semiautomatic .40 caliber handgun was found near Snell's body, KTLA reports. The gun was loaded with one round in the chamber, Beck said. The shooting was not captured via the camera in the officers' car, nor was it recorded by body cams. Beck said that the officers in question belong to a division that has not yet equipped their personnel with the devices.
The video police do have is from a nearby business and it appears to show Snell running through a parking lot, allegedly holding a gun in his hands. Beck said the decision to release the video came after many expressed doubt in the LAPD's version of events, according to City News Service. "My huge concern is that the dueling narratives further divide the community," Beck said.
Another man was shot on Sunday afternoon in South L.A. Though a weapon was recovered from the scene, it was later revealed that it was in fact a replica gun with the orange safety tip painted black, according to police. The victim in that shooting has not been identified, though has been described as a Hispanic male between 18 and 22 years old.
Police in that incident said they were in the area responding to reports of an armed man, and that when they came upon the victim, he pointed the replica gun at them. A woman who witnessed the shooting told KTLA that the victim "had his hands to the side when they jumped out and they didn't say nothing. They didn't give him no kind of orders."
Police Commission President Matthew Johnson issued a statement about the shootings today, expressing his sympathies for the victim's families and defending the decision to release the video.
These events, unfortunately, come on the heels of other officer involved shootings around that country that have left many of us questioning why they had to happen. Understandably, the community is asking for answers and asking to see the video. Our current policy provides that we do not release video to the public. However, given the heightened tensions in our nation at this time, the Mayor, the Chief and I have agreed that it is in the public's best interest to allow the release of the footage taken by a security camera from a private business.
He noted that both incidents are still under investigation, and said that "within the next two weeks, I will be setting forth a recommendation for my fellow commissioners to consider regarding a process to evaluate our current video release policy in Categorical Use of Force incidents. The process will ensure that there is ample opportunity for input from all stakeholders in devising a policy that balances all of the issues."
Three members of Black Lives Matters were arrested yesterday during a protest at the LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, including chapter organizer Melina Abdullah and co-founder Patrisse Cullors. They were released hours later. Abdullah told LAist that the arrest took place in the lobby of police headquarters, outside of where a private press conference was being held.
"They demanded that we leave, but it's a public building and we have the right to make our voices heard. As they issued the dispersal order, they kept shifting where they wanted us to disperse from and where they wanted us to disperse to," Abdullah told LAist. "We're not going to just submit to the will of the police that continue to kill us."
Protests continue this morning, not just for Snell and the unidentified victim, but for numerous individuals, many of them people of color, who have been killed in officer-involved shootings or while in police custodyover the past several months.