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CHP officer fatally shoots man on Highway 105


Disturbing video recorded by a bystander appears to show a deadly encounter in which a California Highway Patrol officer shot a man multiple times after a fight in the middle of the 105 Freeway in Watts Sunday afternoon.

The CHP confirmed Monday that a shooting occurred on the highway, but did not provide basic information.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the person was deceased, but did not provide identification, pending notification of family. The cause of death has not been released.

CHP officials said they responded to the highway around 3:15 p.m. Sunday after receiving several calls about a man walking into traffic near the Wilmington Avenue exit.

After the officer made contact with the pedestrian, “a struggle ensued and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” the CHP said in a statement. Authorities said over a police radio that the man had a Taser and fired it at the officer, prompting the shooting, according to audio posted on the Citizen mobile app.

The CHP referred all inquiries to the California Department of Justice, which investigates police shootings in which unarmed people were killed, according to the department.

The state DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The video begins with a CHP officer on top of another person as the two fight on the sidewalk in the middle of what appears to be a closed stretch of highway.

After a few seconds, as the two confront each other, a gunshot appears to go off and a bullet ricochets on the sidewalk near the man’s body, which remains on the ground.

The CHP officer then stands up and shoots the prone man at least four more times, the video shows.

The man remains motionless for the remainder of the minute-long video. The CHP officer remains near the body, his gun drawn.

Travis Norton, a law enforcement officer who heads the California Assn. of tactical officers after action, said video is a limited way to understand a police shooting.

“It’s difficult to make a diagnosis without knowing what the officer saw, experienced and interpreted,” Norton said. “All I see is a very short fight. I see the suspect pointing at something that looks like some sort of weapon. … Based on the video, without further details being known, the use of deadly force appears appropriate.”

But other experts say the use of force raises many questions.

Ed Obayashi, an expert on police shootings who investigates incidents on behalf of many California law enforcement agencies, said investigators would immediately ask the officer why he was speaking to the person without a partner nor reinforcement in the immediate vicinity.

Obayashi also said investigators will look into why the officer felt the need to shoot the man after he got up and got away from him.

“Why did you shoot him when he was on the ground?” » Obayashi said investigators would ask the question. “You have separated yourself from the individual; why was he always a threat to you?



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