LAPD Chief: Cops Who Mistook Delivery Women For Christopher Dorner Were Wrong To Shoot Them
One year after the Christopher Dorner manhunt, the LAPD has determined that the officers who fired on two women, mistaking them for Dorner, were in the wrong.
Chief Charlie Beck and the Los Angeles Police Commission, a civilian panel, both agreed on the ruling that the eight officers involved violated the department's rules on excessive force. The next step is to determine what kind of penalties are in store for them, according to ABC 7.
A separate LAPD panel made of high-ranking cops urged the officers to be cleared of any wrongdoing, but Beck disagreed with them, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Beck held a news conference today that outlined his decision on the case. Much of the conference was about the need to hire good officers:
LAPD police chief Beck: "There is nothing more important than who we select to protect our families."— Erika A. Aguilar (@erikaaaguilar) February 5, 2014
The incident, which happened on Feb. 7 of last year, went like this: the officers, whose identities have been kept secret due to the possibility of retaliation, were guarding the home of a fellow officer named in Dorner's manifesto when they received word of a truck that matched Dorner's description in the area. It was 4:30 a.m. and still dark outside. When they came across the truck, they fired over 100 bullets into it.
The truck actually belonged to two women, Margie Carranza and her mother, Emma Hernandez, who were delivering newspapers. Only when the officers realized that they shot a Blue Toyota Tacoma (as opposed to Dorner's grey Nissan Titan) did they realize their mistake.
Hernandez was shot in the back and Carranza suffered gunshot wounds to her hands. Last April, the women were awarded $4.2 million and money for a new truck, but Hernandez still has emotional scars from the incident.
Earlier in January, another batch of officers were cleared of any wrongdoing in regards to a second shooting in the same neighborhood, which was set off by the shooting of Carranza and Hernandez. Their review noted that those officers were in "panic mode," which clouded their judgment.
The department also ruled on another shooting related to Dorner today, saying that the shootout in Corona that actually involved Dorner was justified, City News Service reports.
"As in all use-of-force incidents, the department has completed a thorough review and will adopt the lessons learned, both good and bad, from these incidents," Steve Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, said in a statement.
The officers involved in the shooting have been assigned to desk duty as the investigation progresses. Their fates remain unclear, but Beck said in a news conference today that their penalties can range from retraining to termination.