The LAPD was ruled justified in the killing of an unarmed homeless man — but it won't release the footage

charly keunang lapd shooting

Police officers were justified in their fatal shooting of a homeless man last year, the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled Tuesday.

Charly Keunang, a 43-year-old Cameroonian immigrant living in Los Angeles’s Skid Row neighborhood, was unarmed when he was shot six times by police last March. 

Official reports say Keunang had reached for a rookie officer’s holstered gun, although it is unclear from a bystander’s video of the incident whether that actually happened.

The police commission’s ruling stated that the officers’ use of deadly force was “in policy” and agreed with their account of the incident.

The commission’s investigation included a review of police body camera footage of the shooting. The LAPD did not release that footage, and according to the Huffington Post, it will remain under seal following the ruling.

“LAPD’s refusal to release the body-worn video footage seriously undercuts the Department’s credibility and makes it seem like they have something to hide,” Peter Bibring, director of police practices at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, told the Huffington Post. “If the video so clearly shows the officer acted properly, they should release it.”

The shooting sparked protests in Skid Row and renewed accusations of police violence against black people. At one of the demonstrations, protestors shouted “You can’t kill Africa,” invoking Keunang’s nickname, and “You can’t kill all of us.”

Here’s the bystander’s video of the shooting:

According to the Los Angeles Times, Keunang’s sister and parents are suing Los Angeles for $20 million.

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