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NAJEE’S NOTES: County settles suit in shooting death of unarmed teen

Anthony Weber, a 16-year-old unarmed African American, was shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Feb. 4, 2018.

According to the L.A. County coroner’s report, Weber was shot 16 times with several bullets striking him in the back. The deputies alleged that after a short foot chase on 107th Street and Budlong Avenue they saw Weber with a gun in his waistband, and as Weber turned towards them, they fired several times, killing him instantly.

Deputies had been in the area because of a 911 call regarding a man with a gun. Deputies said that Weber fit the description and that was the reason for the encounter.

“I need it to be known that my son was a good son,” his mother, Demetra Johnson, said. “He had the biggest heart and was a wonderful father. He has a 9-month-old daughter, Violet, who lights up whenever he walked into the room.”

As a spokesperson for Johnson, I can truly say this entire family is in a state of shock. This was a 16-year-old unarmed youth shot and killed by deputies. No gun was found anywhere. But I’m not surprised.

Some law enforcement officers after a bad shooting always lie when they murder our kids with …. “we saw a gun and he reached for it.”

If Weber had a gun, what happened to it? Did these cops let someone come into a shooting scene they failed to contain and walk away with it? They should lose their jobs for incompetence alone.

The county Board of Supervisors approved a $3.75 million payout on May 14 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit against the deputies who shot and killed Weber.

At a press conference held by the family members of Weber, their lawyers and community activists, Weber’s mother was a pillar of strength despite suffering a tremendous loss. Johnson and her entire family fought for justice for Weber side by side with activists. 

We all knew that Weber was unarmed and unjustly murdered by deputies. The Board of Supervisors knew it, also. That’s why they quickly paid out settlement.

Johnson said this was never about money. This was about justice for her son. And I agree with her. Hopefully, community members will stop allowing themselves to be duped by law enforcement spokespersons whose sole job is to lie and blame the victim for his own killing.

Dear black people. Stop being brainwashed by the media and start giving our youth the benefit of the doubt. There is now no question that Weber was shot and killed unarmed.

Law enforcement can only use deadly force if they are in fear of their lives. That means Weber would have had to point or reach for a gun. Deputies found no gun on him after they shot 16 times.

Now the next step is to get L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey or California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to open an investigation into Weber’s killing. We can’t allow cops to investigate other cops.

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