Los Angeles Police Officer Clifford Proctor, who fatally shot Brendon Glenn, an unarmed Venice homeless man in the back last year, is one step closer to finally being brought to justice.
The Police Commission April 12 unanimously sided with Police Chief Charlie Beck, who had previously called for Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey to file criminal charges against Procter, concluding that Proctor violated department policy when he shot Glenn, 29.
After the fatal shooting Proctor tried to explain his actions to investigators by saying he believed that Glenn was trying to grab his partner’s gun during a struggle. Proctor even went so far as to state to investigators that Glenn had his hand on his partner’s holster.
But video from a security camera at a nearby bar on the Venice boardwalk told a different story, according to an LAPD report made public April 12. Footage from the camera didn’t show’s Glenn’s hand “on or near any portion” of the holster, the report said. Proctor’s partner never made “any statements or actions” suggesting Glenn was trying to take the gun, the report added.
Which means that Proctor lied. It’s no surprise to civil rights activists. Many of us have always stated that some police officers lie and cover for each other in controversial shootings.
The fact that Proctor lied not knowing his actions were on video is a game changer in this case. The video became a crucial piece of evidence cited in a report in which Beck recommended that his civilian bosses find the deadly May 5, 2015, shooting unjustified.
The decision capped an 11-month review of Glenn’s death, one of several shootings by LAPD officers last year that fueled criticism of police and how officers use force, particularly against African Americans. Glenn was black, as is Proctor. But far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant.
Police killing unarmed civilians is police murder. It doesn’t matter whether the officer was black, white or purple. The bottom line is we’re demanding justice. !
The ruling also renewed pressure on Lacey to file criminal charges against Proctor. This year, Beck said he had urged Lacey to charge Proctor. It was the first time as chief that Beck has called for charges against one of his officers in a fatal on-duty shooting.
Such prosecutions are rare in L.A. County, where the district attorney’s office hasn’t charged a law enforcement officer in an on-duty shooting in 15 years. A district attorney’s office spokeswoman said the case was still being reviewed.
Anytime you have Chief Beck and the Police Commission both agreeing that charges should be filed that’s monumental, because historically it rarely happens. Beck said the commission’s decision “certainly supports” what he told the district attorney.
“I find many times that shootings are out of policy and they don’t reflect criminal charges,” he said. “But that’s not the case in this one.” Beck also stated in his report, the evidence and video didn’t “independently support” Proctor’s claim. His partner told investigators that he never saw Glenn’s hand near his gun or “felt any jerking movements,” the report added.
The Police Commission and Beck also faulted Proctor’s decision to draw his gun, as well as the tactics he and his partner used leading up to the deadly confrontation. The officers should have discussed how to approach Glenn beforehand, the chief said, and would have had a “greater tactical advantage” had they waited for other officers to arrive.
Glenn was one of 36 people shot by on-duty LAPD officers last year. Twenty-one were killed. Now the big question is what will Lacey do? She has served as our Los Angeles County District Attorney since Dec. 3, 2012.
She stepped into the history books as the first woman and first African-American to serve as district attorney since the office was created in 1850. Unfortunately, her tenure as D.A. has been a failure marked with cowardice and a disaster for the African-American community.
Lacey has turned a blind eye to police abuse and the unjust murders of African-American residents in the city by law enforcement. There are numerous examples of Lacey’s unwillingness to protect our people from abusive cops.
Marlene Pinnock, a mentally ill grandmother, was savagely beaten on the side of the freeway on July 1, 2014 by a CHP officer. Her beating was captured on videotape and made international news. The officer was fired shortly afterward and Pinnock was awarded over a million dollars in a settlement.
The officer is still walking around a free man because Lacey has refused to prosecute him. On Aug. 11, 2014, Ezell Ford, a mentally ill South Los Angeles young man, was stopped by LAPD officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas for no apparent reason and killed after a physical confrontation with them. On June 9, 2015, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners issued a ruling stating that Wampler violated Ford’s civil rights by detaining him. The commission also rejected Chief Beck’s conclusion that Wampler had adhered to LAPD policy.
The investigation found Wampler in violation of policy in four areas (tactics, drawing of weapon, use of non-lethal force, use of deadly force). The community is still waiting on criminal charges to be filed by Lacey against Wampler.
On March 1, 2015, Charly “Africa” Leundeu Keunang’s videotaped confrontation with LAPD officers resulted in his shooting death. That videotape was viewed by millions.
Lacey and her failure to protect us has demonstrated she is more concerned with protecting abusive cops. Black lives don’t matter to her, but what does matter to her is continuing to be the black face and tool of a justice system founded and steeped in white supremacy.
This time, with the Police Commission and Chief Beck calling for criminal charges against Proctor, we’re confident she will have to prosecute this cop for murder. At the end of the day. activists like myself are not anti-police. Were anti-police abuse.
I’m currently in New York City for the 25th anniversary of the National Action Network’s national convention, hosted by its founder and national president, the Rev. Al Sharpton. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who are both vying for the Democratic nomination for president are both speaking at the convention, among other national dignitaries.
I want to personally congratulate the Los Angeles chapter of the National Action Network, under the leadership of the Rev. K.W. Tulloss, staff member Janeth Zavala, the membership and our allies. Our L.A. chapter was named chapter of the year by Rev. Sharpton. This is a testament to our grassroots work in the community.
From police reform to the successful boycott and protest of this year’s Academy Awards. National Action Network L.A. chapter has been the vanguard civil rights group in South L.A. Our work was acknowledged nationally by Rev. Sharpton and we will continue to serve our community.
Next week we will discuss Attorney General Kamala Harris.
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