The most controversial LAPD-involved shooting of 2011 was that of 25-year-old black man Reginald Doucet, Jr., a Playa Vista resident whose scuffle with a cab driver around 3 a.m. on January 14 caused neighbors to call 911.

When the officers arrived, Doucet was reportedly running around with no clothes on, and became aggressive when they approached. Instead of using a taser or some lesser force, one officer shot Doucet to death out front his own apartment. Read the Weekly's original coverage here, including the Los Angeles Police Department's rationalization at the time.

Just last month, Doucet's family sued the City of Los Angeles…

… for both his wrongful death and the resulting civil-rights violations they believe were inflicted upon Doucet's young daughter, as she will not have equal access to a father's financial and emotional support.

Attorney Jamon Hicks told the Weekly that new evidence shows the officers could have better prepared for the January 14 confrontation.

“The officers that responded to the scene were told that [Doucet] was either on drugs or mentally ill,” Hicks said. “I handle a lot of cases dealing with the mentally ill. You just do not rush on someone… when something could happen to the subject, but also yourself.”

From the initial police report:

“During the fight the suspect repeatedly punched both officers in the face and head and at one point tried to take one of the officer's guns. One officer, a male Black, 17 months with LAPD, shot the suspect to stop the attack.”

The lawsuit, in contrast, alleges that the cop(s):

“… violently confronted Mr. Doucet, and unjustifiably detained him without probable cause to believe that he had committed a crime, or would commit a crime in the near future. Shortly thereafter, [they] proceeded to assault and batter Mr. Doucet … unjustifiably striking, punching and/or otherwise inflicting force upon the person of Mr. Doucet, and unjustifiably shooting Mr. Doucet with a department-issued gun.”

The plaintiff also claims that a delayed call for paramedics — as Doucet “laid in a pool of his own blood” — contributed to his untimely death, and a lifetime of agony for his survivors.

Note: Due to technical difficulties, the LA Weekly's archive of all homicides within Los Angeles city limits was discontinued near the end of last year. As of April 4, we have been rolling out the 2011 homicides, one by one, and will continue until our “Murder was the Case” archive is up to date. Thanks for your patience.


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