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Protests ensue after off-duty LAPD cop shoots gun during struggle with teen
The officer is on administrative leave.
An LAPD officer has been placed on administrative leave after he was recorded firing his weapon during a struggle with a 13-year-old boy on Tuesday. Protesters began rallying Tuesday afternoon and filled the streets of Anaheim on Wednesday night in response to the incident, which was caught on camera and quickly went viral.
According to Anaheim police via KTLA, the confrontation was a result of an ongoing issue of “juveniles” walking across the officer’s lawn, though the statement doesn’t clarify which children or teens. Police originally reported that two juveniles were arrested, one for making criminal threats and battery, and the other for assault and battery. Both boys have since been released to their parents.
When the 13-year-old who is seen being detained by the off-duty cop in the video came forward, however, his story was different from that of the police. The boy’s parents told KTLA that the boy didn’t threaten to shoot the officer—he threatened to sue him. In the video the teen can also be heard saying, “I didn’t say that, you’re lying, I said I’m going to sue you,” as the cop pulls him across the lawn.
According to the 13-year-old, the altercation started after the officer yelled at a girl who was with him.
“I said, ‘Hey, that’s not how you treat a lady,'” the boy told KTLA. “And then he came at me. … He hit me. I ran to the street to run away from him, and he got me. He tried to trip me and then he kicked me in my testicles.”
At the 2:20-mark in the video, you can see the officer pull out his weapon, which he fired several seconds later.
Hundreds of people gathered in protest on Wednesday night in the neighborhood where the altercation took place, according to KTLA. Activists called for charges to be filed against the officer, who has not been arrested.
Protesters gathered around the officer’s home, breaking home and car windows and some allegedly tried to get into the officer’s home, resulting in the arrest of 24 people.
“At the end of the day there is no justification for him to pull a gun out, and he pulled it out around a crowd of children,” a protester told KTLA. “If he is a police officer he should know better.”
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.