Video of po­lice shoot­ing shows sus­pect with gun

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD - By Amanda Lee My­ers and Christopher We­ber

Video re­leased Tues­day shows a black man killed by Los An­ge­les po­lice was armed just be­fore he was shot dead but the footage failed to cap­ture him when of­fi­cers say he twice turned to­ward them hold­ing the loaded semi-au­to­matic hand­gun.

The video shows the man iden­ti­fied by po­lice as 18-year-old Car­nell Snell crouch­ing be­hind an SUV parked at a strip mall and pulling a hand­gun from the waist­band of his sweat­pants.

Snell then tucks the gun back into his waist­band and runs around the cor­ner of a strip mall as of­fi­cers chase him. All then dis­ap­pear from view be­cause they were no longer within the range of the surveil­lance cam­era.

Snell’s shoot­ing Satur­day came amid height­ened ten­sions over po­lice ac­tions in­volv­ing black peo­ple and other mi­nori­ties across the coun­try. Snell was the third black man in five days killed in con­fronta­tions with South­ern Cal­i­for­nia po­lice.

Po­lice said the video — posted to the po­lice depart­ment’s YouTube chan­nel fol­low­ing pres­sure by protesters to re­lease it — sup­ports the ac­count LAPD Chief Char­lie Beck gave de­fend­ing the shoot­ing.

Beck said the video showed Snell had an op­por­tu­nity to get rid of the gun but de­cided to keep it when he ran around a cor­ner of the strip mall, dis­ap­pear­ing from the footage that showed two of­fi­cers run­ning af­ter him.

“Ob­vi­ously if you’re not seek­ing con­fronta­tion why wouldn’t you just dis­card the weapon?” Beck said.

Af­ter Snell ran around the mall’s cor­ner and out of range of the cam­era, he sprinted be­tween two houses and turned to­ward of­fi­cers while hold­ing the gun, Beck said.

Of­fi­cers fired three shots that missed Snell, who then climbed a fence and turned again to­ward the of­fi­cers while hold­ing the gun, Beck said. Po­lice fired three more times, hit­ting Snell in the torso and knee.

The video show­ing the mo­ments lead­ing up to the shoot­ing was made pub­lic just as Black Lives Mat­ter or­ga­niz­ers gath­ered Tues­day morn­ing to protest Snell’s killing at a meet­ing of the Los An­ge­les Po­lice Com­mis­sion.

De­mon­stra­tors at the civil­ian over­sight board’s meet­ing con­tin­u­ously dis­rupted Beck and com­mis­sion mem­bers with ex­ple­tives and in­sults and ig­nored re­peated re­quests to main­tain or­der. One wo­man who said her son had been killed by po­lice threat­ened to kill of­fi­cers her­self.

No ar­rests were made but the meet­ing was closed to the pub­lic af­ter protesters re­fused to stop chant­ing, “Black lives, they mat­ter here!”

Pro­tester Melina Ab­dul­lah ac­cused po­lice of se­lec­tively re­leas­ing a por­tion of video of Snell’s shoot­ing to “posthu­mously as­sas­si­nate” his char­ac­ter.

“I don’t care if he had a gun,” she shouted. “His life mat­ters.”

The re­lease of the video marked the lat­est ex­am­ple of po­lice departments that have de­cided to re­lease footage of deadly con­fronta­tions amid pub­lic pres­sure.

In North Carolina, Char­lotte po­lice re­leased snip­pets of record­ings show­ing Keith La­mont Scott slowly back­ing out of an SUV on Sept. 20. Po­lice fa­tally shot Scott af­ter they say he re­fused com­mands to put down a gun.

In the San Diego sub­urb of El Ca­jon, po­lice re­leased a still frame show­ing 38-yearold Al­fred Olango with his hands to­gether at chest level and pointed at an of­fi­cer di­rectly in front of him.

Olango was fa­tally shot af­ter he swiftly drew an ob­ject from his front pocket and pointed at the of­fi­cer in a “shoot­ing stance,” po­lice said. The ob­ject turned out to be a 4-inch vape pen — an elec­tronic cig­a­rette de­vice.

The LAPD typ­i­cally re­leases video of po­lice shootings only when or­dered to do so by courts. Beck told re­porters the Snell video was re­leased in the in­ter­est of pub­lic safety and to cor­rect mis­in­for­ma­tion.

“This is not done in any way to den­i­grate Mr. Snell,” he said.


This Oct. 1, 2016 frame from se­cu­rity cam­era video, re­leased by the Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment and posted on its web­site on Oct. 4, shows a sus­pect hold­ing what ap­pears to be a gun in the mo­ments be­fore he was fa­tally shot by of­fi­cers in a po­lice killing that has gen­er­ated wide­spread protests.

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