Huey Lewis once wrote (and sang), “Hollywood and the Sunset Strip is something everyone should see; Neon lights and the pretty pretty girls, all dressed so scantily…”
The scantily-clad girls are still there, but nowadays it might be safer to see the area through the lens of a camera. While seated on a couch hundreds of miles away. Nowadays visitors to the area must step around sleeping bums, hop over piles of s**t, try to not slip on a piss-covered Walk of Fame, dodge homeless schizophrenics with buckets of diarrhea, and pray to not be carjacked by a machete-wielding homeless man while minding their own business in the Chick-fil-A drive thru.
During Monday’s lunch rush a “young, homeless and troubled” man “known on the streets as Gabriel” robbed a Hollywood auto parts store at machete point, carjacked a vehicle from a person in the Chick-fil-A drive thru, and then promptly crashed the Lexus into two LAPD patrol cars responding to the burglary.
Gabriel then got out of the car, machete in tow, and ran. Initially he ran away from the police officers, then turned on them.
In the video you can hear the police officer yelling, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” After Gabriel chases him into the street, the police officer trips and falls. As Gabriel stood over the officer, machete in hand, other officers opened fire. Gabriel died at the hospital.
During a post-incident press briefing, an LAPD spokesperson said that officers “initially used ‘less lethal’ force” before shooting Gabriel. When a man is running roughshod in a populated area, having already committed two violent crimes, why is there a delay in stopping the threat? Because California, that’s why. A new law placing additional restrictions on when officers can use deadly force to stop a threat goes into effect January 1, 2020, but most departments have already held trainings for their officers on the new decision matrix they must navigate while confronting armed and dangerous subjects.
Currently, lethal force may be used when it is “reasonable.” AB 392 limits use of lethal force to when it is “necessary” to defend human life. Officers must evaluate the totality of circumstances to determine whether deadly force is necessary. To address law enforcement concerns, the legislature amended the bill to remove a requirement that all nonlethal alternatives be exhausted prior to use of lethal force. Another amendment removed the definition for “necessary” as used in the bill, allowing for circumstances outside the previously included definition to make lethal force “necessary.”
Presently, analysis of an officer’s decision to use lethal force is limited to considerations the moment the officer used lethal force. AB 392 expands examination to the “totality of circumstances,” including officer actions leading up to the use of lethal force. This may change the scope of internal investigations for misconduct, as well as the officer discipline and training process.
Here we have the makings of another perfect storm in California. The streets are increasingly filled by people with untreated mental illness (more than 75% of the homeless population fit this criteria, despite what LA officials claim – more on that later), and police officers are required to allow an armed and dangerous criminal to nearly kill them before being able to use deadly force against the criminal.
It’s time to close Los Angeles (and most of California) down for renovations.