On LAPD shooting, take a broader view

Over the weekend, Los Angeles Police Department officers shot a man known as “Africa.” The killing was caught on video by bystanders as well as by currently un-released body-cam and surveillance cameras. There are ongoing protests and an official investigation into the shooting has been launched.

Police Chief Charlie Beck came to the officers’ defense. “I think that this is an awful tragedy, but the officers took — on the face of it — reasonable steps to avoid it. Had the individual not grabbed the officer’s pistol, certainly we would not be having this discussion,” he said.

Indeed the media and the investigation will likely focus on whether Africa was reaching for an officer’s gun when he got killed.

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