Protests continue after LAPD releases video in officer-involved shooting

Ed Laskos reports.

- Police Chief Charlie Beck Tuesday released security video of the chase leading up to the fatal police shooting of an 18-year-old man in South Los Angeles, but the move did little to satisfy activists who angrily shouted down the chief at a Police Commission meeting, demanding his ouster.

The video, which Beck said he released after consultation with Mayor Eric Garcetti and the District Attorney's Office, shows Carnell Snell Jr. running with his left hand in a sweatshirt pocket, and at one point he removes
his hand to reveal a handgun. He holds the gun at his side briefly, then tucks it in his waistband, turns and runs away from the camera, out of sight, with officers in pursuit.

The video does not show the actual shooting.

Beck told reporters this morning he decided to release the video to correct what he called competing accounts about Saturday's shooting of Snell. 

He suggested that "dueling narratives'' emerging about the shooting threatened to "further divide the community.''

The release of the tape came as the LAPD worked to quell protests sparked by the death of the black teenager, who was shot on 107th Street Saturday afternoon. The next day, police fatally shot another man in South
L.A., a Latino. Beck said that suspect pointed at officers a replica gun whose orange tip had been painted black to make it look real.

Despite this morning's release of the video, anger still boiled over at a Police Commission meeting in downtown Los Angeles, where activists repeatedly shouted at Beck as he tried to give an update to the panel.

One woman sneered as Beck tried to announce that department members are available to speak with members of Snell's family.

"You're a disgusting person,'' the woman shouted at one point. "You're a horrible leader. ... You should quit for the good of the city.''

With order somewhat restored, Beck went on to decry the "amount of guns that are out on our streets.'' He said 450 people have been shot so far this year in just four LAPD divisions, where more than 500 guns have been recovered.

"Handguns are far too prevalent,'' Beck said. "... Until we address the core issue of violence in our communities ... primarily young men with guns, we are going to be doomed to this cycle.''

Tensions reached a peak when the mother of Richard Risher, a man police fatally shot earlier this year in Watts, said she felt revenge on officers was the only option, saying she has failed to get an adequate response from Beck about her son.

"From today, (expletive) this protesting (expletive), I'm going to start taking your lives,'' said Lisa Simpson said.

Eddie H. of the Los Angeles Community Action Network attempted to put Simpson's words into context, telling the commission that "when we cry out saying no more blood in the streets of our young men and women, our sisters, our mothers, our fathers, we're serious about this.''

"It's getting to the point where we really do feel that the only way this is going to change is by revolution,'' he said.

He added that he was not ``advocating for violence by any stretch of the imagination,'' but that it would not surprise him if things do turn violent.

"To all who are in this room today, we all should be held accountable,'' he said. "For you are complicit if you allow your voice to continue to be impotent while we are slaughtered in the streets ...  if you can't see the hurt and pain that we experience on a daily basis -- so we're saying right now, stand up and be counted.''

On the shooting of Snell, Beck said Monday that officers were working near 108th Street and Western Avenue about 1 p.m. Saturday when they spotted a light blue Nissan that had paper plates that didn't match the year of the car, prompting officers to suspect it may have been stolen.

Snell, sitting in the back seat, looked at the officers, then ducked "as if to hide from them,' Beck said. Officers started to follow the car. As they activated their lights and sirens, the car slowed and Snell got out "holding his waistband as if he was supporting something.''

Officers chased him. At some point during the 200- to 300-yard pursuit, the officers saw Snell pull out a gun and hold it in his left hand, according to Beck. They chased him to a driveway in the 1700 block of 107thStreet, where
Beck said Snell turned toward them, the gun still in his hand, prompting the officers to open fire, killing Snell.

A .40-caliber handgun was found a few feet from Snell's body. It was fully loaded, according to Beck, indicating it had not been fired.

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