A Watts minister on Tuesday called for an investigation into the shooting death of a man in the Imperial Courts housing project after he allegedly fired at several Los Angeles police officers during a power blackout there last week.
The Rev. Carl Washington of the New Commandment Baptist Church, located a short distance from the scene of the shooting on East 114th Street, maintained that Henry Peco, 28, was unarmed Friday night when he was fatally wounded by several police officers.
"There is no evidence that he was armed at the time," Washington said during a news conference in front of police headquarters at Parker Center. "The police brutality in our community has to stop."
The minister called on Assistant Police Chief David Dotson, Mayor Tom Bradley and Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner to initiate an investigation into the shooting. Spokesmen for Bradley and Reiner said they were unaware of Washington's call for an investigation. A police spokesman said the LAPD is investigating.
In disclosing the slaying, police said Peco carried a semiautomatic rifle and was among several people who fired at officers responding to a report of indiscriminate shooting during a brief power outage at Imperial Courts.
Police said Peco was fatally wounded during an exchange of gunfire with several officers, although no rifle was recovered. Detectives said the weapon was carried away by someone in a crowd of more than 100.
Several of Peco's relatives said he was unarmed and walking across a parking lot when shot.