LAPD Union Pushes Back On Criticism From Their Own Chief In Case Of Killing
The Los Angeles Police Protective League —the union for rank and file LAPD officers, or LAPPL— is pushing back on criticism from Chief Michel Moore in the case of a man fatally shot by an officer.
An LAPD officer fatally shot Takar Smith while the 45-year-old father of six was experiencing a mental health crisis on Jan. 2nd. Smith allegedly armed himself with a knife before an officer opened fire.
In an audio released last week, Smith’s wife clearly lets dispatchers know that her husband is off his medication and lives with schizophrenia.
Reaction from officials
- Mayor Karen Bass and other elected officials have raised concerns about this police killing.
- Moore asked why one of the LAPD’s specially trained mental evaluation teams were not called to the scene. Those teams — made up of an armed officer and a mental health clinician – have the goal of calming the agitated person.
Police rank-and-file response
Debbie Thomas, director of the Police Protective League, said officers followed protocol. She said of the chief's position: “I hope he will reconsider what he said.”
Craig Lally, LAPPL president, sent a letter to Mayor Bass and the LA City Council this week addressing the fatal shootings of Smith and Oscar Leon Sanchez and the in-custody death of Keenan Anderson. Anderson died after officers repeatedly tased him in the space of about 30 seconds.
Lally wrote to Bass: “The suspects escalated each of these incidents, not the responding officers."
The family of Takar Smith and Oscar Leon Sanchez intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit.