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Community demands answers in teen's shooting

October 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles Police Department promised Friday to get to the bottom of an officer-involved shooting in Watts that left an 18-year old gang member dead.The department has come under criticism since last week's shooting, with some community members saying it was handled wrong.

Surrounded by clergy and members of the Watts Gang Task Force, the LAPD vows to find out what really happened.

"That's what we are here to do today, to find the truth in this matter," LAPD Dep. Chief Patrick Gannon said. "We need the public's help to find the truth."

The plea for help and promise of answers comes from after James Davis's mother had a public plea last week at the scene of the fatal shooting.

"I do want justice," said the victim's mother, Mashia McCraw. "I want justice for my son. I want the truth."

The teen was gunned down at the Imperial Courts Housing Development after officers say he pointed a gun at them.

A loaded semi-automatic was recovered next to Davis' body. But witnesses and community members questioned the officers' story since Davis was shot in the back.

"The officers say that Mr. Davis pointed the weapon at the other officer and Officer Castaneda, who happened to be behind him, shot at Mr. Davis in defense of his partner's life," Gannon said.

The LAPD says it has received several different accounts of what happened last week.

Some say Davis was armed but didn't take aim at the officers. Others say he had his hands in the air and another person says there was no gun at all.

The LAPD is promising a full disclosure hoping to dispel some of the rumors and at the same time encourage the public to help them find the truth.


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