Los Angeles, CA–
Los Angeles police fatally shot a homeless man Sunday, and the struggle was captured in a video that is going viral. The Safer Cities Initiative, a task force focused on skid row, was responding to a possible robbery when they approached a man known as Africa.
Dennis Horne, 29, said Africa was in a fight with someone in his tent when police arrived. When Africa refused to leave his tent, a struggle ensued and the police deployed a taser, tackled Africa, and dragged him out of the tent.
Another witness, Lonnie Franklin, 53, said police approached with their guns draw yelling “down, down”. When Africa resisted the officers they “went straight to lethal force”.
Jose Gil, 38 , said he saw the man swinging at the police and then heard one officer say, “Gun, gun, he’s got my gun!”.
An area resident identified as Booker T. Washington said the police had come by regularly to ask Africa to take down his tent. People are allowed to sleep on the street between 9 p.m to 6 a.m., but they’re supposed to remove their tent during the day.
“This man got shot over a tent,” Washington said.
Activists in Los Angeles gathered Sunday night at Pershing Square in response and plan to gather at the LAPD headquarters on Tuesday, March 3.