Off-Duty LAPD Officer In Anaheim Fires Weapon During Confrontation With Teen, Sparking Protests
Protestors took to the streets of Anaheim on Wednesday night after a video was posted showing an off-duty LAPD officer firing a weapon during a confrontation with a 13-year-old boy, reports KTLA. More than 300 people had participated in the demonstration, and 24 were later arrested, according to the L.A. Times. Protestors had largely gathered by the intersection of Euclid Street and Palais Road, according to a statement by the Anaheim Police Department.
Among those detained were ten men, eight women, and six minors. They were all arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor offenses, including failure to disperse, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer.
Demonstrators were urging for charges to be filed against an LAPD officer who, in a video posted online, was shown to have fired a weapon during a confrontation with a teenage boy. Anaheim police say that the incident happened on Tuesday at around 2:40 p.m., and that it was started because the officer took offense to a group of juveniles walking on his property.
In the footage, the officer is seen grabbing onto the 13-year-old boy, as a group is gathered around them. After a member of the group throws a punch at the officer, the officer pulls out a weapon and fires a shot, scattering the group. The video also shows the officer claiming that the 13-year-old had threatened to shoot him, but the boy denies it, saying in the footage that he'd said he'd "sue" the officer. No one was injured by the gunfire. The 13-year-old, as well as another teen, were arrested by Anaheim police. The officer was not taken into custody.
The video of the confrontation was posted on YouTube:
LAPD detectives responded to the location to conduct an investigation into the shooting. The department said in a statement that the officer, who has yet to be identified, has been put on administrative leave, and that all footage of the incident will be taken into review.
“We will continue to conduct the internal investigation to determine the actions of the officer and the circumstances, and then we’ll consult with the Orange County district attorney as well to determine if there’s any issues,” an LAPD spokesperson told the Times.
"An officer, even off duty, has an obligation to follow the law and protect public safety, rather than threaten it," said Jennifer Rojas, an official with the ACLU of Southern California, according to ABC 7. "The LAPD officer's actions on the video are grossly irresponsible."
Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said that the city will participate in a "thorough, impartial investigation" of the incident.
"At the end of the day there is no justification. He pulled [out the weapon] around a crowd of children. Those are all children," one local told KTLA.
The mother of the 13-year-old boy told KTLA that the teen was released after the D.A.'s office had rejected the charges against him, but the D.A. would not confirm this claim.
Some protestors had gathered around the apparent residence of the officer, breaking the windows on the house as well as a car. The OC Weekly tweeted a photo of police outside the possible residence of the officer, where some protestors had gathered:
Here are some scenes from the protest on Wednesday: