An enhanced version of a video recording of Los Angeles police officers fatally shooting a homeless man on skid row Sunday appears to show the man's hand reaching in the direction of one officer's waistband, reports the Los Angeles Times.
According to the Associated Press, three officers, one of whom is a sergeant, shot the man as they struggled on the ground for control of one of the officer's weapons, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. The officers had been responding to a report of a robbery, and a stun gun proved ineffective, he said.
A Los Angeles Times review of the tape shows the officer quickly pulling away at that moment. Then, three of his colleagues open fire on the man.
It was difficult to determine whether the man's hand actually touched the officer's weapon.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, in a news conference Monday, said evidence supported initial reports that the man reached for an officer's holstered pistol. The gun's slide was partially pulled back and the magazine dislodged, he said. "This is indicative of a struggle over the weapon," he said.
The Times reviewed a second video shot from a security camera at the nearby Union Rescue Mission. It also shows the incident, but at a slightly greater distance than the first video, which was posted on Facebook.