LAPD Officer under fire for shooting man armed with a knife – all because she’s a competitive shooter

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LOS ANGELES, CA -An LAPD Officer was forced to shoot a man armed with a knife and now she is coming under fire because she’s also a competitive shooter and social-media influencer.

In a time where police training is coming into question, we are criticizing an officer who trains more often than most with her firearm?

There has to be more to the story.

Rookie Police Officer Toni McBride is a professional shooter for Taran Tactical Innovations out of Simi Valley California.

Taran Tactical is the same range that John Wick star Keanu Reeves goes to shoot as well as a host of other Hollywood A-listers. Because of her affiliation with TTI and her good looks she has amassed a very strong social-media following.

 

When she graduated from the police academy in 2017, McBride was awarded the “Top Shot” in her class for her proficiency with firearms.  She was assigned to Newton Division in South Central Los Angeles.

According to USSA News – “It was a dream-come-true for the little girl who grew up wanting to become a police officer and played dress up in her father’s uniforms.”

Her father, Jamie McBride is a veteran LAPD Detective and more importantly, board member of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. Detective McBride has been touted as a “pit bull” according to an article published by the LA Times.

“The Police Protective League puts McBride in front of the news media to signal that rank-and-file officers have had enough of the city’s left-leaning political leadership. 

The veteran detective exudes the swagger and tribal brio of the old-school LAPD. He was a street cop with a disproportionate number of on-duty shootings and an investigator who fought management discipline (including his own) and won, and he remains a sometime actor who plays street thugs and tough cops in movies and on television.”

Now she is taking heat for her fathers position in the powerful police union as well as her internet fame, this all following her officer-involved shooting from April of 2020.

Police Officer Toni Mc Bride and her partner responded to what started as a traffic accident on April 22nd, 2020. As McBride was arriving on scene they received information from a 911 caller that the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident was armed with a knife and stabbing himself.

McBride is confronted by 38 year-old Daniel Hernandez who is still armed with a box-cutter.

After giving verbal commands to Hernandez he continues towards McBride and she fires two shots striking Hernandez. He goes down but gets back up and then McBride fires 4 more shots stopping Hernandez who succumbed to his injuries.

LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office is currently reviewing the incident and will ultimately decide whether to prosecute the younger McBride.

Now of course with elections right around the corner, there is an opportunistic, liberal-minded DA Candidate who is calling into question the incumbent Lacey’s ability to be impartial.

George Gascon is now asking Attorney General Xavier Becerra to take the investigation over because he feels there is too much of a political relationship between Lacey and the LAPPL

As LA Magazine writes:

“Since the DA’s office will be responsible for reviewing the Hernandez shooting and deciding whether or not Toni McBride is prosecuted, Gascón has called for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to take over the investigation and any decision regarding charges.

In a recent phone call, Gascón opined that the process ‘reeks of impropriety,’ and said that if he’s elected, he will appoint a special prosecutor outside his office to oversee the case.

Responding to these criticisms, Lacey’s office told Los Angeles last week that she’ll ask Becerra to review the case and decide whether there is any basis to conflict-of-interest concerns.

‘District Attorney Lacey does not have a personal relationship with Jamie McBride or any member of his family,’ a spokesperson for the DA’s office said. ‘But to address any possible appearance of impropriety, District Attorney Lacey will ask the state Attorney General to independently review the matter to determine if a conflict exists.'”

Nothing like being used as a scapegoat for political gain. It’s only her career and her freedom on the line because McBride happened to be the officer who arrived on-scene and did what she had to do.

Forget about everything else….politics, professional shooting and internet fame aside, we have a young officer who with less than three years on the job and she has had to take a life. This is something that you train for but hope to never have to do.  Now she has the added stress of being used as a political pawn because of who her father is.

The LAPD has released the PO McBride’s body camera footage showing the incident as well as the 911 calls leading up to the shooting. They also included third party video in their “Critical Incident Community Briefing”.

The video shows McBride and her partner arriving on scene and shortly thereafter, Hernandez appears behind his crashed Chevrolet pick-up truck. Hernandez is clearly armed with a box-cutter in his right hand. McBride gives verbal commands and Hernandez does not comply causing McBride to shoot him.

The video also shows a large crowd surrounding the accident scene. McBride seems to do an excellent job of getting onlookers to clear the main street and get to the sidewalks.

Hernandez’s family has said that McBride shot too fast because she is a competition shooter however, with so many other lives to preserve in addition to that of her own; she wasn’t given much of a choice by the seemingly disturbed Hernandez.

None of the articles are delving into the mental health of Daniel Hernandez. I think we need to ask ourselves why?

I mean he struck 5 vehicles with his own vehicle then began to cause self-harm with a box-cutter. When he couldn’t finish the job himself he confronted the police in what appears to be a textbook example of  “suicide by cop”.

If Toni McBride was not a competitive shooter who has a strong social-media following and her father was not a threat to a DA hopeful trying to make a name for himself would we even be talking about this?

Sadly, probably not.

We’ve got your back PO McBride.

In the meantime in Wisconsin, another officer is also under attack for doing his job.

WAUWATOSA, WI – A Wauwatosa police officer who was cleared in the 2016 justified shooting of Jay Anderson Jr. was suspended on July 15th because Anderson’s family filed a complaint calling for the officer’s termination.

Police Officer Joseph Mensah has been involved in three officer-involved shootings in the past five years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. 

Those shootings resulted in the deaths of Anderson in 2016 and of Antonio Gonzalez in 2015.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office ruled that the fatal shooting of Anderson and the fatal shooting of Antonio Gonzalez in 2015 were both justified self-defense.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , the third shooting, which took place in February 2020 and resulted in the death of Alvin Cole, is still under investigation.

The Anderson family filed their complaint while Officer Mensah was already on administrative leave pending the investigation of Cole. 

The families of Anderson, Gonzalez, and Cole have the same attorney.

At a virtual meeting of the Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission on July 15, their attorney, Kimberly Motley, asked for the permanent termination of Officer Mensah on behalf of the Anderson family, WISN reported.

Motley accused the officer of having violated the police department’s code of ethics.  Anderson’s family wants to see Officer Mensah fired and prosecuted.

The Wauwatosa Police and Fire Commission unanimously voted on July 15th to suspend the officer, with pay.  The commission will also be hiring a third party investigator to handle the complaint filed by the family of Jay Anderson Jr.

Mensah is a five-year veteran of the Wauwatosa police force, who is black, and he has been the focus of Black Lives Matter protests in Milwaukee for the past month.

Linda Anderson said the family decided to come forward when they saw the same officer who had shot her son had killed someone else.

Linda Anderson told WPR:

“I would like to see him fired and to do some time for the killings he has done,”

She then goes on to say:

“It is not normal. It is not normal to kill three people. He is a murderer.”

Mensah’s attorney, Jonathan Cermele, told the commissioners that the officer-involved shooting of Anderson had already been investigated four times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Milwaukee police, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Wauwatosa Police Department all investigated the incident, Cermele said.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Officer Mensah’s attorney said:

“None of those entities, absolutely none of them, opined that charges of any kind whatsoever were appropriate”

He then went on to say:

“In the end, I am confident that the commission is going to come to the same conclusion that every other investigatory authority has come to, and dismiss this complaint” 

Police Cheif Barry Weber, of the Wauwatosa Police Department released a statement in defense of Officer Mensah, WPR reported.

“In each of the cases involving officer Mensah, those Mensah encountered were armed with weapons. Each incident happened very quickly, and verbal commands were given and not complied with. He defended himself with deadly force” 

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LAPD Officer under fire for shooting man armed with a knife - all because she's a competitive shooter

Chief Weber continued:

“Officer Mensah was placed on administrative leave after each incident, pending the decision of the District Attorney. The rule from the DA was that the use of force was justified in the first two incidents. Mensah is currently on administrative leave while waiting for the DA to rule on the incident from this past February.”

But the attorney for Anderson’s family has called for the previously-closed investigation into Anderson’s death to be re-opened and protesters rallied in front of City Hall ahead of the PFC meeting about the complaint.

LAPD Officer under fire for shooting man armed with a knife - all because she's a competitive shooter
Attorneys for the three families, Deja Vishny (left) and Kimberly Motley, speak to the press at the Wauwatosa Police Department. Photo credit: Scott Ash/Now News Group

Motley told members of the commission during the virtual meeting:

“(Mensah) has become a significant risk to the public at large” 

The district attorney’s report said that Anderson was fatally shot after Officer Mensah stopped to talk to him, when he found his vehicle in the parking lot of Madison Park at 3 a.m. on June 23, 2016.

The report said Officer Mensah saw a handgun that was on the front seat and ordered Anderson to put his hands up, WPR reported.

According to the District Attorney, this is when:

 “lunged toward the gun with his right hand,” 

Officer Mensah opened fire and shot Anderson five times in the head and once in the shoulder, according to WPR.

Wauwatosa police officers do not wear bodycams.

The Anderson’s attorney said that she did not believe he was reaching for his gun, but instead was falling asleep and unable to keep his hands up, citing toxicology results from the autopsy that showed the driver was inebriated.

Motley is quoted as saying:

“Murder does not have a statute of limitations, so I think it is important to re-look at this case, especially because it is the same officer.”

Motley is also the attorney for the family of Gonzalez, who was shot by Officer Mensah on July 16, 2015, when officers responded to a domestic violence call, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Investigative Report.

Gonzalez, 29, greeted the officers in the front yard with a samurai sword, which he brandished as he came toward them.

When Gonzalez continued towards the officers, and failed to obey their orders to drop the sword, Officer Mensah opened fire and fatally shot him, the report said. 

The district attorney found Officer Mensah’s shooting of Gonzalez to be legally justified.

The shooting that is still under investigation occurred on Feb. 2, 2020, when officers responded to the Mayfair Mall for a report of a man with a gun, WDJT reported.

Police said that after a chase, Cole fired at officers with a stolen handgun and Officer Mensah returned fire.

Cole was fatally shot.

The families of all three men are calling for Joseph Mensah to be fired and for all Wauwatosa police officers to be equipped with body cameras.

Attorney Kimberley Motley said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We are going to do everything legally that we can do to make sure that the Cole family gets the justice that they deserve, and that the Anderson family gets the justice that they deserve” 

Since the two earlier shootings were deemed justified and self-defense, Mensah was not charged by prosecutors, nor was he disciplined internally.

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