LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — It has been a controversial week for the LAPD as it looks into a struggle with officers that led to the shooting death of an unarmed man in Venice.
Police Chief Charlie Beck gives a one-on-one interview with CBS2’s Pat Harvey, and talks about why he said he was troubled by security video of the shooting and why he’s going to continue being candid about the investigation.
“I’m not the kind of chief that’s going to sugarcoat an incident to the public. I let the public know what I think,” the police chief said.
Beck drew criticism from the police union after announcing during a news conference that he was “very troubled” by surveillance footage of the shooting.
It shows an officer shooting 29-year-old Brendon Glenn during a reported altercation. Glenn was not armed.
“So, you don’t regret saying what you said?” Harvey asked Beck.
He replied, “No, because I think it was important to not only the organization but to the community that they know the chief of police has concerns with this shooting.”
The officer’s name hasn’t been released to the public because of safety concerns.
But Beck says he felt he needed to disclose both the officer and Glenn are both black: “Race has become a great issue nationally in policing. Every tagline of every story is about the race of the officer and the race of the person the officer came in contact with. I knew that this would be asked. I knew it would part of the story, and I put it forth.”
Venice residents have joined activists in rallies this past week demanding police release the security camera video of the shooting, and Beck explained why that won’t happen.
“There’s a number of reasons it’s not being released. One, it is a piece of evidence. It’s not a totality of the investigation. It’s a strong piece of evidence that has to be viewed in the context of the other pieces of evidence,” the chief said.
And then there’s an alleged police report of the shooting that was leaked this weekend by a community blogger.
Harvey asked Beck if he’s concerned about a leak in the department.
“Well, I’m always concerned about information that shouldn’t be in the public until it’s been properly vetted going out,” he said.
The two officers involved are assigned at home with pay while the investigation continues.