Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department have released security video footage of part of the chase that led up to the fatal police-involved shooting of 18-year-old Carnell Snell, Jr., The Los Angeles Times reports.
The video shows a young man wearing a blue sweatshirt, who law enforcement officials identified as Snell running through an LA strip mall. He appears to be holding a handgun in his left hand as he runs behind parked vehicles.
The young man then appears to tuck the handgun into his sweatpants before running away from the camera. Moments later, an officer is seen running in Snell’s direction.
Thinking Snell was holding a gun, the officers chased him, according to Beck. At some point during the pursuit, the officers saw Snell pull out a gun and hold it in his left hand, Beck said. They chased him to a driveway where Snell turned toward them with the gun still in his hand, the chief said. Police then opened fire.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said he and Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke at length about the issue and decided to release the footage to the public in an effort to correct what he describes as competing accounts about Saturday’s shooting.
“My huge concern is that the dueling narratives further divide the community,” Beck said.
The footage was captured by a nearby business. Beck said the recording shows Snell running with a gun in his hand. Several residents have questioned the police account, which says Snell was armed at the time of his death.
Beck said a .40 caliber handgun was found near the scene, but did not appear to have been fired. The officers involved were not armed with body cameras, Beck said.
Demonstrators have demanded that the department release the names of the officers involved in the shooting, and Beck appeared to be sympathetic toward their request for justice.
“We have all seen police-involved shootings that defy justification in other municipalities. I have seen them where I am at a loss to understand why,” he said. “I think that affects what happens on the streets of Los Angeles.”