US police officers have shot and killed a homeless civilian during an altercation in central Los Angeles, in an incident caught on video. The graphic film shows a violent struggle between the homeless man and several officers in the city’s Skid Row area. BBC has more:
Police say that three officers opened fire after the man tried to grab a gun from an officer. Witnesses said the dead man was known as Africa and had been homeless after treatment for mental illness. The LA police department said officers had been responding to reports of a robbery and had attempted to use a Taser to subdue the suspect but he had “continued fighting and resisting”.
No other gun was recovered at the scene, LA police commander Andrew Smith said. Last year, highly publicised killings of black men sparked weeks of protests in the US. Hours after the latest shooting, the hash tag #LAPDShooting was trending on Twitter in the US.
It is unclear from the video what exactly happened, the BBC’s Alastair Leithead reports from Los Angeles.
The video begins with what appears to be a black man swinging punches at four police officers in daylight, near the tents and cardboard of a pavement homeless camp. Two other officers run up to join their colleagues.