The Los Angeles Police officer who fatally shot a Guatemalan day laborer threatening people with a knife that led to public unrest and riot control response has been cleared in the shooting, the Los Angeles Police Commission has announced.
A five-member panel of the civilian Police Commission fully exonerated Officer Frank Hernandez in the shooting. Also, the District Attorney has declined to file charges against the officer, reports the Los Angeles Times.
On Sept. 5, Officer Hernandez, who was assigned to the bicycle unit out of the Rampart Division, responded to a 911 call of a man threatening people with a knife at Sixth Street and Union Avenue. Three officers responded to the 1 p.m. call.
Manuel Jamines, 37, was drunk and holding a knife. The officers repeatedly ordered Jamines in Spanish and English to drop the weapon. He instead raised the knife and charged at Hernandez, who fired two shots. Jamines was struck in the head and died on the street.
The commission ruled that police tactics, Officer Hernandez' drawing of his weapon and the use of force was "in policy," according to a police commission statement.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents LAPD officers, released a statement affirming the commission's decision.
"The commission reaffirmed the right of police officers to take the actions necessary to protect themselves from lethal threats," according to the statement signed by the LAPPL board of directors. "Lawful commands of police officers must be obeyed. When they aren't, the situation can quickly take a tragic turn, as it did in this case."
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