The parents and sister of Charly Keunang, a homeless Skid Row resident who was shot and killed on March 1 by LAPD officers, have begun legal proceedings against the City of Los Angeles for Kenuang’s death.
“This was a cop-created killing,” Line Foming, Keunang’s sister, said in a statement. “My brother is dead because six police officers, who were armed and highly-trained, chose to shoot first and ask questions later. Officers are trained to use lethal force as a last resort, not a first step. These officers need to be removed from their positions immediately before someone else is hurt and need to face justice for killing my brother.”
Foming and her family also demanded, via a letter to Los Angeles County district attorney Jackie Lacey, that the officers involved face criminal charges and that the video footage from the officers’ body cameras be released. The LAPD has so far refused to release the video and refutes the claim that Keunang’s death was unjustified. According to the Los Angeles Times, police chief Charlie Beck has said Keunang struggled with one of the officers over his gun. An investigation into the shooting is reportedly pending.
Last month, officer Deon Joseph detailed for us the challenges of patrolling Skid Row. “I believe that law enforcement officers should be held to a higher standard,” he said in the days folling Keunang’s death. “I just don’t believe we should be held to an unreasonable one, where I should let someone kill me.”