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Beck urges calm after Playa man fatally shot

January 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Civil rights activists are demanding the Los Angeles Police Dept. review deadly-force policies in the wake of a shooting death last week in Playa Vista.LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is urging people not to rush to judgment until the shooting investigation is over.

Beck urged the media and public not to speculate until there is more information about the officer-involved shooting of a man in his boxer shorts last week.

Former football star Reginald Doucet, 25, died from the shooting. Police and witnesses say Doucet at one time was naked and jumping on cars before putting on his shorts. Police say he fought with two officers trying to subdue him and he allegedly reached for one of their guns.

One of the officers shot Doucet. Officers speeding toward the scene didn't know that. It didn't take long for officers to realize his condition changed.

Critics have asked why non-lethal force, like a Taser, was not used.

LAPD Det. Tyler Izen, director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said it's not always a solution.

"The officers were fighting for their lives and were compelled to use deadly force and that they shouldn't be judged until the investigation is completed," said Izen.

"We were unable to conclude that with less-lethal force. Now whether they had options to use it or not, it's way too early to tell, so I encourage the media and the public not to speculate until there is evidence upon which to draw a conclusion."

Beck has tried to get Tasers for every LAPD officer. There isn't enough money. The department now has 1,000 Tasers for more than 9,000 police officers.

"It has to an appropriate tool to use in that incident," said Beck. "In an immediate defense of life you don't get a second chance."