Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, January 9, 2002


Page 8


Police Commission Finds Shooting of Mental Patient With Knife in Policy


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Sixteen Los Angeles Police Department officers and one sergeant yesterday were found to be “in policy” in the shooting of a mentally ill patient who brandished a pocketknife at patients and staff at a North Hollywood hospital last January.

The Police Commission approved Police Chief Bernard Parks’ recommendation to find the shooting to be within department policy and require additional training for 13 of the officers on non-lethal use-of-force issues.

Officers responded to a call on Jan. 15 of last year after hospital personnel said the man became violent after being told he would have to wait five hours to be seen by medical staff at the hospital.

The officers attempted to diffuse the situation by using TASER darts, beanbag shotguns, and pepper spray, Parks wrote in his Oct. 26 recommendation to the commission. After being hit with repeated TASER darts and beanbag rounds, the man,  unfazed,  made his way to a crowded waiting room and began thrusting a knife towards various people in the room. One person blocked the suspects thrusts with a crutch, Parks wrote.

An officer who believed he or another officer was about to be stabbed by the suspect as the suspect charged at a group of officers in the waiting room shot the suspect three times from six feet away, Parks wrote. A later examination of the suspect revealed he had sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen and two gunshot wounds to his upper right thigh.

Even after being shot, the suspect still struggled violently and had to be subdued with an officer’s baton and his arms and legs were restrained, Parks wrote.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company