LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police Chief Charlie Beck released security video Tuesday of the chase that ended with fatal police shooting of an 18-year-old man in South Los Angeles.
“This is not done in any way to denigrate Mr. Snell,” Beck said. “This is merely to correct what I think is a faulty public record about what was going on.”
The footage showed Carnell Snell Jr. running with his left hand in a sweatshirt pocket. At one point, he removed his hand to reveal a handgun.
In an interview with KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO, Beck clarified the video shows Snell had a gun in his hand prior to the shooting.
Snell was seen briefly holding the gun at his side before he tucked it in his waistband, turned and ran away from the camera, out of sight, with officers in pursuit.
About half a block up, Snell went to a metal gate. “As he got to that gate, he turned. As he turned, he had the gun out of his waistband in his left hand. The officers felt that this was an imminent threat. One officer fired three rounds at this point.” Beck explained.
After being shot, “Snell then climbed over the fence and made a similar motion back toward the officers with a gun in his hand,” said the chief, who added that officers shot him three times again.
Snell was shot a total of six times on Oct. 1 But the video does not show the actual shooting, which was not recorded on police body cams either because the officers have not yet been equipped with the devices.
However, there are photos, taken by detectives, that showed the gun was less than five feet from Snell’s body, Beck said.
He said he won’t release those pictures because “the folks that have decided that the narrative is not to trust the police, not to trust this police chief, would not trust those photos either,” Beck explained.
The video’s release did little to appease activists, who angrily shouted down the chief at a police commission meeting, demanding his ouster.
The protesters interrupted Tuesday’s meeting so many times, the commissioners cancelled the meeting.
Beck said the officers who shot and killed the men in two separate weekend shootings were justified in their use of deadly force because they feared for their lives.
L.A. police officers also shot and killed a Hispanic man, who they said pointed at them with a replica that looked like a real gun. His name has not been released.
This shooting happened on Sunday, Oct. 2 in the area of East 45th Street and Ascot Avenue.
Beck said the fake gun recovered at the scene had an orange tip, which usually indicates that the gun is a replica. But orange tip was darkened or painted over, making the gun look authentic, the chief explained.