A group of legislators is calling for increased transparency following the release of a video showing a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer shooting and killing a man during a struggle on the 105 Freeway in the Watts area. The incident occurred around 3:15 p.m. in the westbound lanes near Long Beach Boulevard. The video, which was posted on social media, depicts the officer and the suspect wrestling on the asphalt before the officer retrieves his service weapon and fires multiple shots at close range.
According to a statement from the CHP, the man was walking against traffic in the freeway lanes and ignored repeated requests to leave the roadway. As a result, officers halted all westbound traffic. The statement further explained that a struggle broke out between the officer and the pedestrian in the midst of the freeway. During the altercation, the pedestrian managed to access a taser he had in his possession and used it against the officer. In fear for his safety, the officer fired his service weapon, fatally striking the pedestrian. The identity of the pedestrian has not been disclosed at this time.
No footage has emerged thus far capturing the events leading up to the scuffle. In response to the video, Los Angeles Councilmember Tim McOsker, along with other representatives from the Watts area, issued a joint statement demanding a thorough and expeditious investigation into the shooting. McOsker expressed his condolences to the community affected by the incident and called for peace.
It remains unclear whether protests were planned in the community or what prompted the plea for peace, which was echoed by other representatives. Senator Steven Bradford expressed deep concern over the shooting, stating that it appeared to be an unnecessary use of deadly force. He emphasized the importance of providing answers to the community and noted that if the roles were reversed, there would be immediate calls for murder charges.
Watts Gang Task Force President Donny Joubert and California State Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson also expressed their concerns about the incident. After analyzing the video, Roger Clark, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy and use of force expert, questioned the justification of the shooting. Clark emphasized that engaging with a subject while holding a gun is against fundamental training protocols and requires a credible threat. He suggested that, in this case, the officer had the ability to reposition himself and therefore the threat may not have been credible.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced that his office will conduct an independent review of the shooting. For the latest updates on this story, including news, weather, sports, and streaming video, visit KTLA.