LOS ANGELES, CA– On March 16th, LAPD officers were involved in two separate police shooting incidents, including one that took place in University Park that left the suspect dead and an officer wounded.
Now, the Los Angeles Police Department has just released the body camera footage for both incidents.
While two police involved shootings in a single day seems extreme, they were in fact the first in a series of six carried out by LAPD officers in the span of a week, and seven in the past two weeks, ultimately leaving two suspects dead.
The first shooting took place when 36-year-old Jorge Armando Cerda was armed with a gun in the backyard of their home in the 1000 block West 21st Street. Relatives called 911, according to reports.
On Monday, 911 audio from that call was released, and a woman who identified herself as Cerda’s aunt said she was not sure what Cerda was doing, “but he’s all drugged up.”
Bodycam video released in 2 LAPD shootings, including University Park incident that left suspect dead and officer wounded | KTLA https://t.co/AT2PosIWaI
— Ghost Gun News (@GhostGunNews) March 31, 2021
KTLA5 reported that Cerda allegedly fired his gun into the air while officers were in route, then barricaded himself in the home, prompting a SWAT team to respond.
Bodycam shows that officers attempted to reason with Cerda by speaking with him via his sisters cellphone, at which time they tried to convince him to come out on his own.
According to one officer who spoke with him over the phone, Cerda allegedly told her:
“I’m going to die today.”
In the footage, the officer can be heard telling him:
“We don’t want to come in there, we don’t want you to die today.”
Another officer can then be heard warning him that:
“the longer we’re here, it gets worse.”
Approximately four hours after authorities arrived on scene, the SWAT team took action, and dispensed tear gas into the home, according to the LAPD.
Cerda responded by shooting, and a round struck Officer Rodney Williams in the vest.
— Don G (@DonG57305152) April 1, 2021
The shooting continued, and unfortunately, Officer Williams, who was wearing a gas mask, was struck in the face by a bullet. The injury was reportedly sustained to an area that was not covered by the gas mask.
The body camera video then switches to a different officer’s, and Cerda is seen emerging from the home with a shotgun. He’s promptly shot by an officer in a second-story window of another residence on the property, KTLA5 reported.
Officers first handcuffed Cerda, and then requested medical aid for his injuries. Paramedics reportedly declared him deceased at the scene.
Officer Williams was treated at a nearby hospital, and was later released. LAPD Chief Michel Moore had said he visited him that same day, and Williams was “obviously shaken” but “grateful to be alive.”
According to authorities, a shotgun and pistol which belonged to Cerda were recovered at the scene. The shotgun was allegedly stolen, while the pistol was a ghost gun. A ghost gun is a firearm that was manufactured at home without a serial number and untraceable by law enforcement.
As stated earlier, that was not the only police involved shooting of the day. Several hours later, Los Angeles Police Officers shot a second man in Watts, in a transitional home in the 1600 block of East 109th Street.
911 audio was also released in that incident, which shows that Marco Diaz’s roommate stated that Diaz was armed with a butcher knife and “trying to cut my manager.”
The roommate caller says Diaz was behaving erratically and he was unable to get in touch with Diaz’s parole officer.
Diaz’s roommate tells dispatch:
“I don’t know what he’s on. I’ve never seen him like this,”
Officers who arrived on scene went into the home, and found Diaz knocking on the building manager’s door.
While the LAPD states that Diaz was armed with two knives, one can be clearly scene on bodycam footage.
The video shows Diaz initially complied with officers’ orders, dropping his weapons and walking backward toward them. But he stops when they order him to put his hands on his head, KTLA5 reported.
Diaz is then seen moving back toward the knives, at which point an officer fires a foam round at him, knocking him to the ground.
Officers can be heard ordering Diaz to come toward them, and eventually, Diaz can be heard saying he can’t because he is in too much pain. However, Diaz then makes a bold move and lunges into the manager’s room, where police say he slashed the victim’s head and hands.
Marco Diaz LAPD shooting: Man with ‘butcher knife’ shot by police https://t.co/B0hyfelne2
— Nectes Gospel Media (NgospelMedia) (@NgospelMedia) April 1, 2021
KTLA5 reported that at the same time, officers run down the hallway and at least one opens fire without warning, striking Diaz. The manager was treated for wounds that were not life-threatening, and Diaz was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds to his lower extremities, officials said.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) April 1, 2021
Investigators say three knives were recovered from the scene.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, on March 18, the district attorney’s office filed charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon against Diaz.
Both shootings remain under review, and the Los Angeles Police Commission will make a final determination on whether officers were in line with department policy in their use of lethal force.
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Protesters in Los Angeles attack LAPD officers trying to clear homeless encampment
March 29, 2021
LOS ANGELES, CA – A crowd of around 200 protesters blocked a squad of riot-gear-clad Los Angeles Police Department officers from removing a homeless encampment in Echo Park, which was an area once known for its scenic appearance.
More chaos in Democrat-controlled Los Angeles. A group of 200 protesters stopped a squad of riot-gear-equipped LAPD officers from clearing a homeless camp in the formerly scenic Echo Park. https://t.co/di4gFSfB6p
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 27, 2021
According to a report from Breitbart News, city officials sent LAPD officers in riot gear to evacuate homeless people who had been occupying Echo Park. After residents shared complaints that the homeless camp was destroying the park’s beauty, the order from city officials was issued.
On March 24th, officials announced that the encampment would be closing and that residents who were occupying the area should remove all of their personal belongings from the encampment.
Large LAPD presence at #EchoPark tonight as we approach a 10:30pm city deadline for all homeless residents living in park to leave the area. City says every single person in the park has been offered housing + services. 160+ accepted. A couple dozen holdouts remain. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/8kltsF4cET
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 26, 2021
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department infiltrated the homeless encampment in Echo Park wielding batons and rifles and sporting riot gear to evacuate the area. Around 200 protesters essentially stood in the way of authorities to thwart the clearing of the encampment.
The camp grew to nearly 200 tents and spread out over half of the park, which was once a generally scenic area. Drug usage, various crimes, and the ever-present amount of trash were among the grievances made by local residents.
The protesters were ordered to disperse by 10:30 p.m., as the demonstration was deemed to be an unlawful assembly. The demonstrators refused to leave the area and started to become combative with police, as one might expect in modern times.
A line of police was observed moving slowly along Glendale Boulevard at the edge of Echo Park Lake at one point during the altercation, urging demonstrators to leave. This instead fueled chants from the protesters, who reportedly started yelling:
“Whose park? Our park!”
LAPD has Echo Park blocked from protesters as they continue to clear out the homeless for repairs. About 20 remaining tents were given 24 hour notice to leave the park last night. @FOXLA @GDLA pic.twitter.com/8Y23rcsJXg
— Mario Ramirez (@MarioFOXLA) March 25, 2021
With cadenced chants being a favorite among the protesting crowd, demonstrators reacted to the riot gear adorned by officers by chanting:
“Why are you in riot gear? I don’t see no riot here!”
Despite orders to evacuate the park, a slowly dissipating crowd remained in the area during the early morning hours of March 25th. Needless to say, the attempted sweep of the area was essentially unfruitful.
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