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Westlake shooting: Anger over mayoral support

September 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
More fallout from an officer-related shooting in the Westlake District: People outraged by the incident took aim Friday at L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. A quiet day at the memorial spot for Manuel Jamines. The noise was coming from City Hall. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was heckled as he walked on the south lawn toward an event. Protesters are angry he's praising the officers' actions

"He's the mayor of this city. He doesn't know what happened either, because he wasn't there," said Jim Lafferty, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles.

Thursday, the mayor said he believes the investigation will show the officers did nothing wrong.

"But when it's all said and done I'll guarantee you what's going to come out is that these guys are heroes, and I stand by them," said Villaraigosa Thursday.

"Without knowing the facts, to prejudice the outcome of any investigation that the chief might want to conduct, by announcing in advance that he can guarantee you what's going to come out, the mayor can guarantee you what's going to come out," said Lafferty.

"Look, I stand by what I said: These officers are heroes," said Villaraigosa.

Friday the mayor did not back down

"That man was threatening individuals, innocent bystanders. They acted, and they acted in order to protect those people," said Villaraigosa.

Jamines was a Guatemalan immigrant who was shot by police on Sunday. He allegedly lunged at officers with a knife.

Thursday, a woman who claims she was an eyewitness disputed that account by saying she didn't see a knife.

"Both Beck and Villaraigosa have promised a fair investigation. We hope that happens, but how can we expect anything of the kind, when they trip over themselves to praise the police responsible for killing this immigrant worker?" said Ian Thompson, an organizer for the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) coalition, Friday.

"This will be an independent investigation. People will not be unduly influenced by what I say, because what I say is irrelevant to their investigation," said Villaraigosa. "Ultimately they'll make a investigation based on the facts."

Several groups say they will have a massive demonstration at the memorial spot next Saturday, September 18, to protest the LAPD.


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