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Panel rejects Beck's recommendation on '10 autistic shooting

Steven Eugene Washington, 27, was shot to death March 2010 near Koreatown in an officer-involved shooting.

March 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles Police Commission has ruled that two officers were not justified in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man with autism.

Steven Eugene Washington, 27, was shot to death last March near Koreatown.

The panel found that the officers, Allan Corrales and George Diego, violated LAPD policies and rejected Police Chief Charlie Beck's recommendation to clear them in the shooting.

Beck found that the officers made serious tactical mistakes, but ultimately were justified in using deadly force.

According to police reports, Corrales and Diego heard a loud noise while they were on patrol around Koreatown. They saw Washington walking near the noise and drove up beside him.

The officers said Washington appeared to remove something from his waistband and did not follow orders to raise his hands. That's when one of the officers fired a single shot at Washington. He was struck in the head.

The shooting drew sharp criticism from Washington's family, who said the man was autistic and fearful of strangers. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California urged police to re-examine its policies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.