Waters calls for Inglewood shooting probe

INGLEWOOD, Calif. More information has become available about the officer who shot and killed Kevin Wicks in his home.

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The outrage over the shooting death of Kevin Wicks last week has not subsided, nor have calls for independent investigations. The L.A. County District Attorney has already assigned investigators to the case.

Monday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters released a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking for a federal probe.

"I don't trust any police department to investigate itself," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-35th Congressional District). "We have a lot of experience in this general area, with internal investigation."

Wicks was shot at the door of his Inglewood apartment by Officer Brian Ragan, who had just been returned to duty after another controversial shooting. According to police, Wicks armed himself after officers knocked on his door just after midnight last Monday, while investigating a domestic disturbance call. His death has devastated his family and friends.

"A fine young man, 19 years with the Postal Service," said Dorothy Nelson, Kevin Wicks's grandmother. "He was not against anybody in law enforcement. In fact, he had just passed an examination to be a correctional officer."

Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn says the council this week will discuss a citizens review panel to look at the department. But later, he wouldn't answer questions about it.

Many residents of Inglewood are disturbed by the "tough guy" reputation of their police department and think it's time for changes.

"I'm happy here in Inglewood that the federal government is going to take a look," said Inglewood resident Emory Neal. "And I'm glad to hear the mayor say that he welcomes that. I just hope they expose everything that needs to be exposed."

The mayor may support the idea of a community review board for the police department here, but people who are concerned about the excesses of the Inglewood Police Dept. say that idea has been tried before, and the department did not change.


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