VENICE (CBSLA.com) — More information is being released about the circumstances leading to the police shooting of an unarmed homeless man in Venice.
The man’s friends say Brendon Glenn was panhandling to get money to feed his dog when someone called police. They say the 29-year-old had been drinking for hours, and, when drunk, he was prone to hugging strangers.
“He wasn’t belligerently drunk,” a man who knew Glenn told CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Lopez. “He was trying to get money for his dog to eat, and the bouncers didn’t like that.”
Glenn’s body is expected to be sent back to his native New York in the next few days, where his young son lives with his grandmother and sister.
CBS2/KCAL9 has also learned the LAPD could publicly identify the officer who pulled the trigger as early as Monday. It’s more likely it will be released on Tuesday.
“On Tuesday [Police Chief Charlie Beck] usually makes remarks after the police commission,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. “I suspect he’ll make a few remarks afterwards to talk about how the investigation’s progressing. But I don’t think he’ll discuss too much about the case in particular.”
Threats to the officer’s safety would prevent police from releasing his identity.
“If there’s any threats we won’t release the name until we have a chance to vet out those threats and determine if they’re valid or not,” Smith said.
Venice residents at a town hall meeting Thursday night demanded answers as to how police could justify shooting an unarmed citizen.
“That man that got shot was a good man; he was a good man, and he didn’t deserve that. And it was murder,” said one man.
The assembled crowd called for police to release security video of the incident.
Smith says it’s not standard practice for the LAPD to release surveillance video – which contained footage Beck called troubling – or 911 tapes.
Sources say the officer was at the scene with crutches the day after the shooting. He reportedly suffered a leg injury during the alleged altercation with Glenn.
The LAPD delayed their mandatory sit-down interview with the officer until later in the day Friday.
Meanwhile, a hearing in Downtown Los Angeles Friday probed whether officers are sufficiently trained to deal with the mentally ill.
Senator Holly Mitchell, of the California State Senate Select Committee on Mental Health, questioned the force used in an encounter on the Harbor Freeway last July. The scene ultimately sparked her interest in improving mental health training for officers and the push for Senate bills 11 and 29 that would mandate 40 hours of behavioral health training for field officers.
There have been numerous cases around the Southland in which officers have been involved in confrontations with people suffering from mental health issues, many of which have ended with deadly results.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell says he wants additional training for his deputies, but can’t do it without the funding.
“More training would be nice,” McDonnell said. “Nearly forty percent of all of our use of force incidents involve individuals suffering from mental illness.”