Community leaders demand answers after teen killed in South LA police shooting

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One day after an officer-involved shooting in South Los Angeles that left a teenager dead, community leader Earl Ofari Hutchinson spoke out. (KABC)

One day after an officer-involved shooting in South Los Angeles left a teenager dead, community leader Earl Ofari Hutchinson spoke out.

Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said Sunday that Los Angeles police need to provide answers into the shooting.

"Civilians aren't trained in terms of how to handle a situation that may be a controversial situation. The ball is always going to be not only in the officer's court, but also in the command staffs' court, too," he said.

Snell was killed Saturday after officers said he exited a suspected stolen car that had been involved in a chase. Snell had run into the backyard of a home on 107th Street near Western Avenue and the shooting occurred.

When news of his death got to demonstrators, many marched into the streets and let out their anger and frustration by yelling at police. Members of Black Lives Matter also headed to Mayor Eric Garcetti's house that night. Police discovered his home and car were egged the next morning.

As Hutchinson learned about the vandalism, he said he believes the mayor knows it's a critical and tense time.

"This is not condoning violence. We don't condone violence - at all," he said. "We also have to understand that so many people are so angry, and now the mayor is an obvious target. I think Mayor Garcetti is getting it, in the sense that he knows this is a critical time that we're in. This is a crisis situation."

A woman who did not want to show her face on camera or use her name said she witnessed the shooting and tried to stop Snell from running, even asking the officer to put down his gun.

"I told CJ to stop - 'stop CJ, they're going to shoot you.' But CJ kept running, then he ran across my driveway and ran to a fence. Then I came to the backdoor and begged the police not to shoot him and told him he's a regional kid," she said.

Another man who grew up in South Los Angeles said the relationship between the community and police officers can start to change in one step. He suggested officers who are from the area should be the ones patrolling because they would understand it better.

Ofari said transparency and accountability by the LAPD would also be a step in the right direction.

"I'm calling on LAPD Chief Beck, LAPD officials and the LAPD commission to do one thing, and one thing only, tell us what...what are and when can officers use deadly force?" he said.

Snell's family said they are waiting on the autopsy report before they release any kind of statement on the incident.
Related Topics:
teenagerpolice shootingofficer-involved shootinglapdlos angeles police departmentpolice chasecommunitySouth Los AngelesLos Angeles County
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