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LAPD Chief Recommends Charges Against Officer Who Killed Venice Man
For the first time, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck has recommended criminal charges against an LAPD officer involved in a fatal on-duty shooting. Last May, LAPD was heavily criticized for the shooting death of Brendon Glenn, a 29-year-old homeless man who lived around the Venice Boardwalk.
Glenn was unarmed. According to witnesses, as well as surveillance video from the scene, Glenn was in the process of lying down on the ground with his hands exposed when Officer Clifford Proctor stepped back and opened fire on the man. Proctor shot Glenn two times in the back, killing him.
At the time, Chief Beck wasquite open about apparent lack of justification for this particular shooting. After reviewing the surveillance video, which has not been released to the public, Beck cast Officer Proctor’s actions into doubt.
"Any time an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer, it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that," Beck said at a press conference the day after the shooting. "I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances."
Following up, the Los Angeles Times confirmed this morning that the department’s own investigators included a recommendation for criminal charges against Proctor when they handed their investigation off to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
While it is unclear whether or not District Attorney Jackie Lacey will pursue charges against Proctor, it's worth noting that the DA has not charged a law enforcement officer involved in an on-duty shooting in more than 15 years.
Police have been getting more scrutiny for their use of force lately. Protests have erupted over the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Race, who was holding a toy gun when he was shot by Cleveland police, and Freddie Gray, who fell into a coma while being transported by Baltimore police.
In Chicago, a police officer was charged with murder for the first time in 35 years. Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, a shooting caught on video. Its release, more than a year after the fact, led to their top cop getting canned and calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign.
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