Officers shot and killed a man in south Los Angeles at the end of a car chase on Saturday, sparking protest by several dozen people frustrated by another fatal police shooting of a black man.
The chase began when officers tried to pull over a car with paper plates, suspecting the vehicle may have been stolen, and the driver refused to stop, Sgt. Barry Montgomery said.
He said the passenger got out of the car during the pursuit and ran into the back of a house, where he was shot. The driver fled the scene and remained on the loose.
Early Sunday morning, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that it found a handgun at the scene of the shooting. The department did not provide any more information about the gun.
The shooting drew several dozen people to the scene. As news of what happened spread, a group of several dozen protesters blocked an intersection near the house Saturday night. Some people waved signs that read "Black Lives Matter," and others shouted at officers standing behind yellow police tape and wearing riot helmets.
Tia Gonzalez, 36, told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2dhp96Q) that she came to the scene because she knew the community was "going to be hurting." She criticized shootings by police, saying officers should be better trained to avoid killing people.
"A police officer should not be the judge, the jury and the executioner," she said.
The demonstration is the latest sparked by a series of fatal shootings of black men by officers around the country. This past week, an unarmed black man was fatally shot by police in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, triggering days of angry, sometimes unruly, protests. The fatal shooting of a black man armed with a knife by Pasadena, California, police on Friday led to two mostly peaceful protests.
Relatives of the dead man in Los Angeles identified him as 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr., and they told the Times he was killed on the same street where he lived.
Snell's mother, Monique Morgan, appeared at the protest Saturday night. "He was just at my house, and we got a phone call that said the police shot him five times in the back," she said.
Police have not said how many times Snell was shot or if he was shot in the back.
Trenell Snell, 17, said she was outside with friends when she saw her older brother running from police. She said she started running too, and that she hit the ground when she heard gunfire.
When she got up, her brother was on the ground, handcuffed, she said.
"At the end of the day, the cops came and shot my brother," she said. "Killed my brother."
Snell's mother told reporters she asked authorities to let her see the dead man to confirm whether he is her son, but they wouldn't allow her to do so.
Source: Associated Press