America is reeling from another police shooting of an unarmed black man, this time of a homeless man whom the LAPD says was going for an officer’s gun during a struggle:
The man was a suspect in a robbery on Sunday and the officers were trying to take him into custody when he began fighting them, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.
It said the man continued to resist, despite the officers attempting to use a Taser on him, and they fell to the sidewalk.
“While on the ground, the suspect and officers struggled over one of the officer’s handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred,” the department said.
Sunday’s shooting was caught on video that was uploaded to Facebook, and has become yet another sad scene in a movie that black America has been watching for decades:
In an illustrative coincidence, President Obama met with his Task Force on 21st Century Policing Monday afternoon, but did not mention the latest shooting in his remarks. At Monday’s White House daily briefing, I asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest if the President was aware of the incident, and if the White House had any reaction:
As is often the case, the White House is extremely cautious about weighing in on local law enforcement matters, particularly those that are the subject of ongoing investigations. With that that being said, a White house official told me that “This is a law enforcement matter being investigated by local authorities, but it highlights the President’s belief that trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.”
This latest shooting will be something of a test case for the utility of police body cameras to sort out incidents like these, since at least one of the officers involved was wearing a camera. As the President said today, though, there is no “silver bullet,” and no quantity of video will bring this man back to life.