The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office revealed charges against two Torrance PD officers, in connection with the 2018 fatal shooting of 23-year-old Christopher DeAndre Mitchell.

Anthony Chavez and Matthew Concannon pleaded not guilty for voluntary manslaughter charges stemming from a traffic stop-turned-deadly after previously being exonerated from the incident.

When Gascón took over as District Attorney in 2021, he asked the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for permission to appoint a prosecutor to “reevaluate” previous shootings involving L.A. County police officers. That is when the December 2018 shooting became eligible for re-investigation.

“Special Prosecutor Lawrence Middleton was given the independence to reevaluate, investigate and determine whether to pursue criminal prosecution in this case,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “He thoroughly reviewed and analyzed the evidence and decided to seek a grand jury indictment. We support his decision to do so and we are pleased that the grand jury returned the indictment.”

On October 9, 2019, then District Attorney Jackie Lacey declined to file charges on the officers, saying the officers acted “lawfully in self-defense.”

The decision sparked protests at Los Angeles City Hall and added fuel to the Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles (BLMLA) movement to push for Lacey’s removal as D.A.

“As is her practice, [D.A. Lacey] participated in the secondary murder of Christopher — the assassination of his character — regurgitating the police account, which claimed that he was “armed” with a toy gun,” BLMLA said in a 2019 statement. “Since the time of his murder, we have been standing with the family demanding the release of the names of the officers. The City of Torrance refused claiming that there are credible threats on the lives of the officers.”

D.A. Lacey’s investigation found that during a traffic stop for what appeared to be a reported stolen black Honda Civic, Mitchell allegedly had a weapon tucked between his legs, with the officers saying he reached for the weapon after being asked to exit the vehicle.

The weapon found in Mitchell’s vehicle was an altered Crossman Phantom Air rifle, or pellet rifle, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Video (Which has since been disabled by Torrance PD) from Concannon’s body-worn camera was later released by Torrance PD, showing the interaction between Mitchell and the officers. The video showed the officers giving commands and Mitchell seemingly following them until the flashlights went off, Concannon asked him not to move, and gunshots went off. The officers said Mitchell reached for his lap, with photos from the investigation showing what may have been the weapon in question, sitting between his legs.

christopher mitchell shooting police photo

A photo from the initial D.A. investigation claimed a weapon sat between the legs of Christopher Mitchell.

While Gascón did not reveal information from the investigation that led to the charges, he noted there was additional information uncovered since the original investigation.

The voluntary manslaughter charges against the officers could carry up to 11 years in prison.

The two men are expected to return for a pre-trial/motion bail hearing on May 15, with bail set at $100,000 each.

“My commitment in appointing a special prosecutor is to make sure the public has confidence in the review process of previously declined fatal shootings,” Gascón said. “When I appointed the special prosecutor, I promised this review would be independent and that I would support the outcomes of this investigation.”
































Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.