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Deadly Force

February 18, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
The Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday revised the way it evaluates police shootings, tying an officer's use of deadly force to his or her actions in the moments leading up to the incident. The unanimous decision by the civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department was made to bring the department in line with current legal standards. It also is expected to clarify commission rules that in the past have led to confusion over how the panel evaluates some officers who fire their weapons or use other deadly force.
October 1, 2009 | Richard Winton
The family of an unarmed man fatally shot last month by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy filed a legal claim against the county Wednesday, alleging that sheriff's deputies are poorly trained and routinely use deadly force on people who don't pose any threat. On Sept. 14, a deputy chased Darrick Collins up his driveway in Athens and into his own backyard, believing he was a robbery suspect. The deputy saw Collins reach for his waistband, causing him to fear that Collins was going for a weapon, sheriff's officials said.
State prison officials, responding to large numbers of inmates who were shot to death or wounded by guards, are revising their policy to sharply restrict the use of deadly force. Cal Terhune, director of the Department of Corrections, said the new policy will forbid state guards to fire assault rifles to stop inmates engaged in nonlethal fistfights and melees.
Despite efforts to cut down on prison shootings, guards in California continue to kill and wound inmates engaged in fistfights and melees, a practice unheard of in every other state. Since late 1994, when the Department of Corrections shooting policy came under criticism for its role in widespread inmate deaths, 12 prisoners have been shot dead and 32 wounded by guards firing assault rifles to stop fights.
May 6, 2009 | Josh Meyer
The reputed head of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel is threatening a more aggressive stance against competitors and law enforcement north of the border, instructing associates to use deadly force, if needed, to protect increasingly contested trafficking operations, authorities said. Such a move by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted fugitive, would mark a turn from the cartel's previous position of largely avoiding violent confrontations in the U.S.
February 4, 2014 | By Joel Rubin and Kate Mather
Eight Los Angeles police officers who opened fire on two women delivering newspapers in a pickup truck during the hunt for Christopher Dorner violated the LAPD's policy on using deadly force, the department's oversight body found Tuesday. In making its ruling, the Police Commission followed the recommendation of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who faulted the officers for jumping to the conclusion that Dorner was in the truck. Beck said the officers compounded their mistake by shooting in one another's direction with an unrestrained barrage of gunfire.
October 29, 1986 | United Press International
A grand jury refused Tuesday to indict Prentice Rasheed, a Liberty City merchant who set a booby trap that electrocuted a man who broke into his store. The Dade County Grand Jury returned a "no true bill" in Rasheed's case, but issued a statement saying citizens should not interpret the ruling as a signal that it is acceptable to use deadly force to protect their property. Odell Hicks, 20, was electrocuted on Sept. 30 in Rasheed's store.
March 24, 1991
In response to "Where's the Outrage for Dead Police?" by George Aliano, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League (Commentary, March 18):. Aliano tragically misses the point of the public's outrage. We are not ungrateful for those who put their lives on the line by calling for an investigation of criminal actions by bad cops. We seek justice. It seems that Aliano has forgotten what it means to be a plain, average, law-abiding citizen, because he doesn't seem to see the difference between police who have been killed in the line of duty and citizens who have been brutalized and killed by the police.
April 9, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- A spate of shootings in Tulsa, Okla., appears connected to the two-year anniversary of the slaying of a suspect's father, police said. And on Monday, prosecutors released new information about the handling of that case. Jacob "Jake" England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, have been jailed in connection with the recent shootings and are being held on about $9-million bail each. The men face charges of murder, shooting with intent to kill and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.
February 27, 1990
I read with great interest your editorial "When Should a Cop Shoot?" (Feb. 18). The editorial noted that there was a major difference between New York and Los Angeles police officers in that Los Angeles police officers were twice as likely to use deadly force as New York police officers. As a person who was a practicing attorney in both New York City and Los Angeles County, the reason for such disparity is easy to understand. In New York City, the minority groups have political clout; here in Los Angeles they do not. And most of the deadly force used by police in Los Angeles is in the minority communities.
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