Keunang, who lived on the streets of Los Angeles’ Skid Row, was shot six times which included two shots to the chest, reports the news outlet. The Los Angeles police commission held a closed-door meeting, determining that Keunang’s shooting was justified. While the panel found that one of the officers violated a policy, it did not disclose the nature of the offense.
The decision led to outcries from about a dozen activists in the room who have criticized the shooting and repeatedly called on police to release body-camera footage that captured it.
“We’re extremely, extremely disappointed,” activist Hamid Kahn said. “We’re not surprised because the police commission is such a rubber-stamp body. But there’s always this one flicker of hope that their own humanity will kick in and they will look at these things not to protect the police officers, but really to protect the community and speak the truth.”
Commission president Matthew Johnson said Keunang’s death “is nothing short of tragic” and that Tuesday’s decision came after an intense 11-month investigation and analysis that was deliberate and compassionate.
He said state law barred him from explaining why the commission reached the decision.
NewsOne reported in March that LAPD officials refused to hand over body cam footage of the encounter that led to the 43-year-old Keunang’s death. The incident was recorded by a bystander with the footage going public, prompting protests throughout the city.
LAPD Chief Beck said that his officers were justified to shoot Keunang as he allegedly lunged for the rookie police officer’s service weapon and ignored commands to surrender. Beck added that there was evidence of a struggle for the firearm, notes The Guardian.
Keunang’s family filed a $20 million lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD.
SOURCE: The Guardian | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty