Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Westlake District Police Shooting Causes Uproar: Your Feelings on the Situation.

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.


September 06, 2010|Victoria Kim
Los 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.

  • Police did not release the dead man's name or age, nor did they specify how many shots had been fired. The LAPD's force investigation division was called to the scene, Chou 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 @
6:30 p.m.
John Leichty Middle School at 650 S. Union Ave.


mexiroccan said...

:( My sister was at this vigil with the community... Thanks for posting

Anonymous said...

i dont watch news on tv due to the fact that in serious cases such as this one is filtered and is mostly b.s. or half truth. but if u take the time to question what they tell u. notices how they only use the cops p.o.v. makin the community think that it was right for him to shoot the guy since it was in "self defense". any cop thats not an idiot would stand pretty far from a drunk guy with a knife givin u enough time to react to anything. im pretty sure the cop had more than enough time to let the guy take a couple steps. take a bite of his krispy kreme donut. lick his fingers. put their gun away. and reach for the pepper spray which can be used from a pretty good distance. but ofcourse these idiots abuse there powers and just shot at the guy. if u ask me this situation couldve been solved in another way that wouldnt take the life of the victim.

Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of seeing night after night of civil unrest over this. All of these people throwing bottles, rock's crates etc... not to mention the fires didn't see what happened so why are they out there. This is costing the city a fortune in man power that thet can't afford. Human life is sacred but when you wave a kife around I feel the Officer responded with the means available, he was on a bike. You Can blame Obama for suing Arizona and the LA Mayor and city council for their comments about us being a safe haven for Illegals. Now they feel like they cause all the civil unrest they want ant we can't touch them. You want to stop the rioting and save the city money, park an ICE Bus down there and they will all go back home and be quiet.This area is gang infested and on any week-end it looks like a third world country. The trash they leave behind in unbelieveable, where's Al Gore. After 7 years in this Country people are saying they didn't tell him in spanish. If he came here to better his life he should have learned the language by now. The LAPD can't even do their job anymore, they have their hands tied behind their backs. There will be an investigation as should be but the new Chief needs to have the balls to back his Officers. I hope to God this doesn't turn political and this Officer is an expendable pawn for some Illegal agenda. If they had done their job in the first place, he wouldn't have been here. Play out this scenario in his homeland and I guarantee it would have been even worse. I wish to God the people that protest and riot that are in this Country Illagally would have the balls to rise up in their own Countries and demand better treatment and lives because they have no problem doing it here. May God Bless the LAPD Officer and his family during this and the family of the Illegal he left behind.

Doña Junta said...

When I talked to my roomie about this we both agreed the man needed to get disciplined in some way... He did not deserve to get killed but his actions where not that of citizen of the month.
My friends mom works in one of those many newspaper stands in the area and said she has seen the man before getting angry at people for not giving him spare change etc. He clearly has a bad rep, but I still think the cops could of handled it another way. As I mentioned.
I also think the protesting as far as getting to rowdy is not a good look peaceful protest if that is going to happen .I know many people that lived in the area where protesting the cops throwing stuff etc, but some of same people that got harassed by the man are the ones who flagged down the cops in the first place so what does that mean?
My friend pointed out on FB that we should look in the mirror sometimes and stand up and protest like that when we kill each other our own people, and that never happens.
Overall I think all sides messed up in someway and nobody has the upper hand in this type of case.

Doña Junta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doña Junta said...

here is the comments from face book....

Manuel Perera said.....
i just wish people would stand up when our own raza kills each other, i agree they shouldn't have shot him but its not like he was a pillar of the community, if people really want things to change we should take a real long hard look in the mirror and see that the problem is far beyond police injustice it begins with the way we function as a community

Aracely Castaneda said.....
If he would've hurt a child with that knife everybody would be singing a different tune..he was drunk waving a knife around.he shouldn't got tazed though.

Anonymous said...

this has to be looked in the view of a non racial view. eveeryone is talkin shit due to the fact that latino has a bad rep cause of drugs violence etc. if u guys stop believing the b.s. told to u on tv and look deep in to it, the guy never had a knife in his hand. the guy never "lunged" at officers. read the LA times article slowly it says he MAY have lunged. wtf is that supposed to mean? how the hell you gonna write and publish something that may have happened? might as well put the cop MAY have used his pepper spray but didnt choose too. not only that was it necessary to shoot him twice in the head? ofcourse were not gonna see this side of the story cause most idiots now a days (99% of our society) dont take the time to question and research what theyre told and just believe it. i mean obviously if the cops actions and was right people wouldnt have a reason to protesst. id feel pretty stupid protesting to a guy that ran to a cap with a knife. this obviously is not the case and theres a whole other side to this story.a whole other side to the story that is only told and published on the media on the cop side of the story not using references.

Doña Junta said...

Good point, if he was not Latino and was white or black or any other race at that would there be that much disruption being this is an mostly Latino community?
Again my point is that the cops could of handled it a different way aside killing the guy.