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Inglewood officers on leave over shootings

September 5, 2008 7:15:54 AM PDT
The Inglewood police chief is reacting to City Council orders that the department undergo new training. This after a homeless man was shot and killed by police, the department's fourth fatal shooting in as many months.There were reports Friday that officers shot as many as 47 rounds into that homeless man. One bystander was grazed by a police bullet. So it's very obvious and very concerning that bystanders were put at risk. Friday night, one sergeant and seven officers are on paid administrative leave.

Deaths at the hands of Inglewood police officers put the department under a microscope, with the chief pledging a top-to-bottom review.

"We certainly look at everything -- our equipment, our training, our tactics, our policies, our protocols -- and we want to look at everything to ensure that where we can do better, we will," said Inglewood Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.

In closed-door sessions, the chief tells City Council members that firearms training is getting special scrutiny. Officers have fatally shot four men in the last four months. Three of the four were unarmed.

On Sunday, 56-year-old Eddie Felix Franco had a toy gun in his waistband. Officers didn't see the orange tip showing it was a fake until it was too late.

Police practice regular target shooting at a range. Friday, a councilman disclosed that there has been a gap in testing officers' decision-making in field conditions. That training had been trimmed because of budget cutbacks.

"But we are now seeing that those decisions, while they might have been financially prudent at the time, and necessary at the time, that we now need to see if we can find a few extra dollars to put back in the immediate training -- and I need to make this clear: Not just those seven officers, but department-wide. We want all of our officers to have the same skill-sets," said Inglewood City Councilman Daniel Tabor.

"I was told once before that if I run, 'I'm going to kill you,'" said Inglewood resident Daniel Ware. "'If you run, I'm going to shoot you.'"

"If they don't have the proper training I don't think they need to be out here on the streets just killing innocent people," said private-security guard Clifford Mayberry.

The chief assures citizens each incident is under investigation and that better procedures are on the way.

"When I say we are doing everything we can and we are looking to bring in leading experts to assist us in a training endeavor, that's exactly what we're going to do," said Chief Seabrooks.

Friday afternoon, the Inglewood Police Dept. did release a list of all the police personnel who were involved in Sunday's shooting.

According to Inglewood Chief of Police Jacquelibne Seabrooks, the officers involved in the Aug. 31 shooting and presently on administrative leave pending full reviews and supplemental training are:

  • Officer Max Koffman, 17 years of experience
  • Officer Loren Robinson, 10 1/2 years of experience
  • Officer John Baca, 8 years of experience
  • Officer Caroline Amezcua, 5 years of experience
  • Officer Christopher Anderson, 1 year of experience
  • Officer Ryan Green, 1 year of experience
  • Officer Zerai Massey, 5 1/2 years of experience
  • Sergeant Matt Hart, 20 years of experience

 

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