Los Angeles police, seeking to quell protests over the fatal weekend shooting of an African-American teenager, released surveillance video on Tuesday in which the youth is seen holding a handgun moments before he is shot by officers.
The video, taken from a security camera outside a nearby store, was made public by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck a day after he held a news conference to give a detailed verbal account of how Carnell Snell Jr, 18, was shot by officers during a foot chase on Saturday.
Beck said Snell was fleeing what police believed to be a stolen vehicle and was gunned down by officers as he turned toward them holding a pistol he had pulled from his waistband.
Snell’s death, and the fatal police shooting on Sunday of a Hispanic male wielding what turned out to be handgun replica, ignited three days of angry rallies in Los Angeles, including a Sunday night protest in which demonstrators pelted Mayor Eric Garcetti’s house with eggs.
Similar protests flared following the police slaying on Sept. 27 in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon of another black man, Alfred Olango, an unarmed Ugandan refugee said by friends and family to have been mentally disturbed. Olango was shot when he aimed an electronic tobacco “vaping” pipe at police and assumed what police said was a “shooting stance.”
Public outrage was further inflamed in California over the weekend with the release of video from July that captured two Sacramento officers discussing how they might run down a fleeing black man with their patrol car before they fatally shot him more than a dozen times.
Police said that man, Joseph Mann, 51, was carrying a knife.
In the Snell video, the teenager can be seen running through a strip mall parking lot and then walking past storefronts as he approaches the surveillance camera.
Snell is holding a handgun in his left hand and briefly stands behind a parked vehicle before tucking the firearm into his waistband as he runs back along the sidewalk away from the camera with his left hand at his waist. He exits the camera’s frame as two police officers run after him.
The shooting is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and will be reviewed by the local district attorney.
Activists with the Black Lives Matter movement said on social media they planned further demonstrations on Tuesday at a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Steve Gorman and Leslie Adler)
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