For the second time in less than 28 hours, Los Angeles officials are investigating yet another death of a man of color at the hands of police.
This time, the family of a man who officials described as being between the ages of 18 and 22 and of Hispanic origin, will have their turn to grieve. Not much is known about the most recent police-involved shooting, but according to reports, cops from the LAPD’s Newton Division responded to a call of a man with a gun near 48th Street and Ascot Avenue, Sgt. Barry Montgomery said. Police made contact with the unidentified suspect, and an officer-involved shooting occurred, officials say.
So far, no other details about what led up to the shooting have been released.
A shooting that took place literally hours before claimed the life of 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr. Police say the teen was shot dead by cops on Saturday. While very little is known about these particular cases, what seems to be a continuing trend of men of color dying at the hands of police is worth noting.
Here’s what we know about both cases so far.
Shooting #1: Carnell Snell Jr.
1) It is unclear why police fired at Snell Jr.
Very little is known about the details that led up to the shooting. Earlier reports contend that Snell, along with another suspect, were driving a suspicious vehicle. The two fled on foot around 1 p.m. after a short chase by police who attempted to pull the vehicle over for having questionable plates. The passenger ran in the back of a house, where he was shot. The driver escaped. Police say a gun was recovered at the scene.
2) The LAPD says it is actively investigating the shooting.
In a statement, the LAPD said investigators will gather evidence related to the shooting to determine whether deadly force was necessary and the district attorney’s office will review it to see if any criminal charges are warranted. The coroner’s office confirmed Sunday that Snell was the man killed. His family lives in another house in the front of the property where the shooting occurred. In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged everyone to wait for “the completion of a thorough and proper investigation.”
3) Activists are calling for the names of officers involved in Snell Jr.’s death to be released.
Demonstrators blocked an intersection Sunday night near Snell’s home. Protesters carried signs that read “jail killer cops.” One car was seen spinning donuts in the street and graffiti was found spray-painted on some storefronts. Police said the crowd dwindled later into the night as cops equipped with riot gear moved in, according to the L.A. Times. Other small protests took place in the same area on the previous night at the residence of Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We don’t want to see a cover-up. We don’t want to see a whitewash,” Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable said after meeting with the Snell family. “We have a family that’s grieving. We have a community that’s grieving.”
4) Snell Jr. was the third Black man in five days to die in confrontations with police in California.
Last Tuesday, Alfred Olango was fatally shot by an officer in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, triggering three days of angry and sometimes violent protests. Olango was shot when he took a “shooting stance” and pointed at an officer with what turned out to be a 4-inch vape pen — an electronic cigarette device. On Friday, Reginald Thomas died after being shot with a Taser by police in Pasadena. He was armed with a knife and his wife described him as mentally ill. His brother told a 911 dispatcher that Thomas was high and had a history of violence.
Shooting #2: Unknown Male
1) The victim’s identity remains unknown to the public.
Officers involved in the investigation of the most recent casualty have limited their description of the slain man. He is only described as being between the age of 18-22 and of Hispanic origin. His identity, as well as that of his accomplice remains unknown.
2) What led up to the fatally shooting remains a mystery.
According to LAPD investigators, the shooting occurred in South Los Angeles Sunday night near 48th Street and Ascot Avenue around 4:40 p.m. Authorities received a call of a man with a gun in the area. LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery said gang unit officers responded to the call and conducted a search, but did not find anyone. As they were clearing the area, they spotted two men walking down the street, officials say. One man matched the description of the suspect in the call. The officers tried to make contact, and an officer-involved shooting took place. One of the men was struck by gunfire. He later died at a nearby hospital.
3) The suspect was shot once.
Officials involved in the investigation say the suspect was shot one time. Witnesses say they heard three or four shots. One witness, Tiffany Peterson said the officers did not say anything when they approached the man. According to her, they just shot him. “He had his arms to the side when they jumped out. They didn’t say nothing. They didn’t give him no kind of orders,” she said. “The police officer in front of him shot him one time. He fell on the ground and then the officer that was in front of him took two steps and shot him three more times.” No officers were injured during the shooting.
4) Police have a second man in custody connected to the shooting.
The second man who was present during the incident was taken into custody, Montgomery said. Both men were between the ages of 18 and 22. No officers were injured during the shooting and a gun was recovered at the scene.
Photo: Associated Press Images, Police speak with residents after the shooting of Carnell Snell, Jr.