Los Angeles Police Officer Toni McBride was not justified in continuing to fire on Daniel Hernandez after her initial rounds, the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled Tuesday. The body determined that her first four shots were justified, but everything fired after that, including shots fired while Hernandez was already on the ground, violated department policy.
The ruling is similar to recommendations given by the department’s inspector general’s office regarding the April incident, but, the Los Angeles Times reports, it contradicts statements from LAPD Chief Michel Moore, who had recommended all of McBride’s shooting be deemed legitimate.
McBride’s partner, who did not shoot at Hernandez, was also determined to have broken a department policy requiring officers to “work together as a team” when faced with a risk.
Retired LAPD Sargent Cheryl Dorsey told the Times that officers are trained to “fire two shots, and then to reassess,” and expressed that McBride “made the wrong decision” to continue firing, especially the final two shots once Hernandez was down.
Other law enforcement voices disagreed with that assessment. Plumas County Sheriffs Department Deputy Ed Obayashi, who investigates use of deadly force cases, praised McBride’s judgement, telling the Times that, in the moment, “she does what every officer would do and shoots an immediate deadly threat.”
McBride, often described as a “cop influencer” for her online and media persona, is the daughter of Jamie McBride, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union which represents officers. That connection has brought additional scrutiny to the case–and, in particular, what action will be taken by Chief Moore, who is ultimately responsible for deciding what, if any, type of official punishment she will receive from the department.
“There is a very significant appearance of impropriety for the chief to be so lenient with the daughter of a very powerful member of the police protective league,” said Arnoldo Casillas, an attorney for the Hernandez family. “He hasn’t spoken just yet in terms of the discipline, but the fact that he found no fault in any of the shooting is incredibly disappointing.”
Meanwhile, McBride may face sanction for violating another, though far less serious, department policy. An L.A. Taco investigation found that, in her capacity as an “influencer,” McBride has recently begun marketing branded products which bear what appear to be LAPD insignia, despite the department confirming she has no licensing deal in place, and that directly capitalizing on one’s role as an officer is breech of protocol.
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