Video of Venice Police Shooting Remains Secret
Security video of the police shooting of a Venice homeless man exists, but you can't see it.
The Los Angeles Police Department has denied L.A. Weekly requests, including one made under the state's Public Records Act, for a copy of the imagery, and now it's part of a possible criminal case against the officer, Clifford Proctor, who opened fire on 29-year-old Brendon Glenn the night of May 5.
"The video will not be released," said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office.
She confirmed that police had forwarded the case involving the shooting late last month and that it "remains under review" for possible prosecution.
Chief Charlie Beck today recommended that criminal charges be filed against the shooter. Mayor Eric Garcetti seemed to back the chief's opinion.
"My hope is that Chief Beck’s recommendation is considered with the utmost gravity, and that anyone found to have broken the law is held accountable," Garcetti said in a statement. "No one is above the law...."
"Chief Beck’s recommendation of the prosecution of Proctor is a sterling act that recognizes the seriousness of the unwarranted use of deadly force by officers and puts LAPD officials on record that they will not tolerate this abuse of authority,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. "But a recommendation by the chief for prosecution without a fast and vigorous prosecution by [District Attorney Jackie] Lacey will be a hollow victory."
After the deadly confrontation near the boardwalk, Beck said, "I am concerned about this particular shooting.
"Anytime an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer, it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that," he said. "I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances."
The shooting took place about 11:20 p.m. May 5 on Windward Avenue.
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Cops initially had a word with Glenn for reasons unknown. They said they had to return to deal with him after receiving a report that he was seen "physically struggling" with someone outside the Towhouse bar, police said.
"The officers attempted to detain the suspect, and an altercation occurred between the two officers and the suspect," LAPD said in a statement. "During that physical altercation an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) occurred."
Police administered CPR, but Glenn died after he was taken by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics to a hospital, the department stated.
The shooting immediately caught the attention of Los Angeles civil rights activists.
"In recent weeks we’ve seen a surge of Los Angeles police officers killing unarmed civilians and suspects in custody," Najee Ali, political director of the National Action Network's Los Angeles chapter, said at the time. "Ezell Ford and Omar Alberto [were] killed by LAPD officers last year [and] have investigations into their deaths that are still not completed. We need a Justice Department investigation to help reform our shoot-and kill-unarmed-civilians-first, we’ll-ask-questions-later police department."
Robison said the DA's office hasn't prosecuted a cop for an on-the-job shooting in 15 years.