Photo from Los Angeles Times
On Sunday, September 5, 2010 bicycle police shot and killed a Guatemalan day laborer Manuel Jamines who was swinging a knife in the Westlake district on 6th and Union.
People in the the mostly immigrant neighborhood where outraged with police for taking the incident that far. Yesterday in the same area a mini riot broke out with police and people attending a vigil near where he died. Debris was being thrown at police from apartment buildings roofs and people running around the street in protest. Trash cans where also lit on fire. Twenty people where arrested.
The neighborhood has always been a target of controversy with the immigrant community and police mostly because of years of gang violence and problems with the Rampart Division who patrol the area.
According to the Los Angeles times today there will be a community meeting that will be held near MacArthur park so officials could respond to this situation. Protesters and activist are said to continue expressing their anger towards the situation until something is done about it.
The question is did police use too much force on this situation?
The man who they shot was said to be a Guatemalan day laborer. He was known on the street as possibly being homeless with a drinking problem. Some have said he was known to always be drunk and had pulled out a knife before. According to the article he was actually scaring some people that is why they waved down police. He then refused to let go of the knife and was drunk ranting. Here is the article from Los Angeles Times.
Police shoot man dead in Westlake
LAPD officers had ordered him to drop a knife before they opened fire.
CALIFORNIALos Angeles police shot and killed a man who reportedly threatened bystanders with a knife in a bustling Westlake shopping district on Sunday, authorities said.
Officers with the bicycle unit of LAPD's Rampart Division were responding to an unrelated call about 1 p.m. when a pedestrian flagged them down and alerted them to a man with a knife near 6th Street and Union Avenue, according to Cmdr. Blake Chou. The officers confronted the man and ordered him to drop the knife several times. When he failed to drop the weapon, officers began firing, police said.The shooting occurred on a busy stretch of 6th street that is lined with discount shops, thrift stores, and a Food 4 Less grocery store. The street, which sees heavy foot traffic from shoppers, came to a standstill.
Crowds gathered along the crime scene tape that stretched for several blocks as officers remained at the scene. The crowds grew larger and increasingly surly as time passed. All eyes were focused on the body, which was covered with a white sheet and remained in plain sight on a corner in front of a dollar store, beside a newspaper sales box. Blood ran down the sidewalk.
Some nearby residents said officers routinely harassed them there and took the opportunity Sunday to voice their opinions about the police.
"Killers go to hell," one person said.
"You guys don't have the right to come to our neighborhood and assassinate people," another yelled.
A resident living less than a block from the scene said the dead man was middle-aged, well-known in the area and frequently appeared to be drunk. She often saw him passed out not far from where he was shot.
"He's the guy that always sleeps under that tree right there," said Tasha Woods, who was standing out on her front steps watching the police investigation of the scene.
"The guy with the mustache?" a neighbor asked.
"Yeah," Woods responded.
Woods said she heard the commotion from her home and came out to the balcony where she saw the confrontation.
"The police told him, 'Put the knife down, put the knife down,' " Woods said. She said the man responded by becoming agitated and rambling loudly. "You could see him wobbling from side to side," she said.
Meleika Williams, another resident, said the man may have stabbed people on the streets before he was shot by police. Authorities said they could not confirm whether anyone had been stabbed.
On one hand the man was not in the best situation nor the right state of mind. Police could have used another tactic to take him down (ex) pepper spray or bean bag shots.The three officers involved only one has been on the force thirteen years and the other two 5 years essentially still rookies. But is that a reason they might of shot him because of experienced in this situation? Or where they really scared for their lives? Did they really think that there was no other way to subdue him? What is your feelings on this situation? let me know.
Meeting regarding this situation will be held today @
John Leichty Middle School at 650 S. Union Ave.