If Police Chief Charlie Beck gets his way, that could change soon. Despite push-back from his colleagues, Beck has recommended that Officer Clifford Proctor be charged for shooting and killing an unarmed homeless man in Venice last year.
Proctor and his partner said Brendon Glenn was harassing customers and confronted a bouncer. The officers claimed Proctor shot Glenn while he was reaching for one of their weapons. But sources who saw video surveillance of the shooting told the Los Angeles Times that the police officers had successfully brought Glenn down to the ground when Proctor walked away and fired the gun. According to the anonymous sources, Glenn tried to stand up and was struggling before he was killed, but did not act in a way that explained the shooting.
Investigators have since concluded that Proctor fired his weapon when Glenn was on his stomach, trying to stand.
The police chief has been criticized for his stance by the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) union, which represents officers in the city.
“It is completely irresponsible for anyone, much less the Chief of Police, to render a judgement on an incident that is in early stages of investigation. As the final trier of fact in the use-of-force investigation and disciplinary process, the premature decision by the chief essentially renders the investigation process void,” the union wrote, in response to Beck’s early comments the Venice shooting. “As in the criminal justice system, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We encourage everyone to reserve judgment until the investigation has run its course, and the facts are collected and assessed.”
But Beck has defended officers’ use of deadly force in the past — even when the cops involved have violated department protocol. Last year, he said the officer who shot and killed Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man with a mental illness, was justified. But witnesses claimed Ford was on the ground when he was shot and an autopsy confirmed the 25-year-old was shot in the back.
In 2015, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) shot and killed more people than any other department in the country.