Anaheim officials promise full, impartial probe of off-duty LAPD officer shooting incident staff KABC logo
Friday, February 24, 2017
Anaheim officials 'disturbed' by off-duty LAPD officer altercation
Anaheim officials said they were 'disturbed' by video showing an off-duty LAPD officer firing a gun during a confrontation with several teens.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Anaheim police and city officials vowed to conduct a full and impartial investigation regarding the off-duty LAPD officer who fired a gun during a confrontation with teenagers.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said the city will move forward with the probe without delay, but he did not hide his feelings about the now-widely seen video that shows parts of the altercation.

"I'm deeply disturbed, frankly angered by what it shows," Tait said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. "That should have never have happened, not in one of our neighborhoods, not near one of our schools."

Anaheim Police Department Chief Raul Quezada echoed the mayor's sentiments about the incident.

"As a father and as a police chief, I too am disturbed by what I saw in the videos that were posted on the internet," Quezada said.

The incident took place on Tuesday near the off-duty officer's residence in Anaheim. Police said a confrontation stemmed from ongoing issues with children walking across the officer's property.

FULL VIDEO: Off-duty LAPD officer fires gun during confrontation

See the full version of online video showing an off-duty LAPD officer firing a gun during a confrontation with several teenagers.

According to Quezada, two juveniles knocked the officer to the ground during some point in the altercation. Then, the officer discharged his weapon once.

The officer aimed the gun at the ground and not at any individual, Quezada said, citing consistent information gleaned from interviews with those at the scene.

"I personally wish the off-duty officer would have awaited our arrival before taking action, but instead, he decided to confront the juveniles," Quezada said.

The 13-year-old boy was arrested and booked at Orange County Juvenile Hall for criminal threats and battery. He was later released. A 15-year-old boy was also arrested for assault and battery and was released to his parents.

Quezada said there was "clear and compelling evidence" to support the arrests of the two teens. Regarding the off-duty officer, the chief said there was insufficient evidence at the time to prove the officer's actions rose to the level of a criminal act.

"Criminal charges, however, could still be brought against any and all parties involved," Quezada added.

LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore also spoke at the news conference, though he said he could not disclose any information regarding the off-duty officer's history at the department.

Moore said the department is conducting its own investigation surrounding the incident. The probe will question the officer's decision to initiate action during the confrontation as well as his efforts to de-escalate the situation. Moore also said the investigation will look into whether his use of force was in line with department policy.

Following the incident, the officer was placed on administrative leave, per protocol, Moore stated.

Quezada said it was his goal to send the case to the district attorney's office within two weeks.

Anaheim officials vowed to conduct a full and impartial probe for an incident of an off-duty LAPD officer shooting a gun during a confrontation with several teens.

The attorneys representing a teenage girl and her brother who were involved in the incident said the off-duty officer lost his composure.

"The only reason why we're here today is because an off-duty LAPD officer lost his control, grabbed a child, dragged him to another place that was not within the distance of his home, and then would not let the child go," attorney Luis Carrillo said at a news conference on Thursday.

The legal team stated that the incident was sparked after the off-duty officer allegedly made offensive and vulgar comments to the teenage girl.

"The facts are that this poor little girl was called these names by this off-duty officer, and instead of just letting it go, he engaged them," attorney Michael Carrillo said. "The things that he yelled are never appropriate for any adult, even from an adult to another adult, let alone an adult to a teenager."

The attorneys said their clients, who do not appear in videos of the incident, were not arrested, but were questioned by police. They stated that claims would be filed against the cities of Los Angeles and Anaheim.

An attorney for the off-duty officer, who has not been identified by officials, released the following statement to Eyewitness News:

"The Anaheim officers investigating this are very competent, and very good. The LAPD officers investigating this are also very good. They will gather all the facts, and we're confident that the officer will be completely vindicated. But we can't have mob violence. What happened to the officer's house and in his neighborhood last night is very wrong."

MORE: Anaheim protesters clog streets, surround cars

The incident spawned protests on the streets of Anaheim Wednesday night. Cars were vandalized, one home was spray painted with anti-police graffiti while another home had its windows broken.

Quezada said 23 arrests were made, including 18 adults and 5 juveniles.