LA Police Shoot and Kill Homeless Man they say was Robbery Suspect

LA Police struggle with homeless man moments before five shots rang out killing the man known by his friends as "Africa."
LA Police struggle with homeless man moments before five shots rang out killing the man known by his friends as “Africa.”

In an incident at the area known as Skid Row, Los Angeles police officers shot and killed a robbery suspect after a brief scuffle, after that man, known only as “Africa,” attempted to grab an officer’s gun as homeless people looked on and an onlooker videotaped the shooting. That video was later uploaded to Facebook.

The cellphone video taken by witness Anthony Blackburn, shows officers contacting the man that they said was a robbery suspect, who reportedly had been living in a tent for the last few months after his release from a mental health facility. Immediately, a scuffle broke out and more officers responded to the scene.

As four officers took down the man and fought with him on the ground, a woman picked up a dropped nightstick and brandished it at the officers and two of the six officers at the scene took her down and subdued her. Meanwhile tasers could be heard discharging in the background.

Although the video does not show with clarity whether the suspect had gained control of one of the officer’s guns, officers could be heard repeatedly ordering the suspect to drop the weapon. Seconds later, five shots rang out and the crowd of onlookers could be heard screaming and another man hollering, “That man is dead!”

Very soon, an angry crowd was confronting the officers, shouting at the officers that they had gone too far in their actions, as officers pulled their batons and warned the crowd to step back.

An internal investigation into the shooting will be conducted at which time police commissioners will make a determination to decide if the deadly force used by the officers was justified.

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The fatal shooting was viewed more than 6 million times on Facebook. That footage has since been taken down off of the social site.