A Los Angeles police officer won't be criminally charged in the controversial shooting of Jesse Romero, a 14-year-old boy whose 2016 death inspired protests in his Boyle Heights neighborhood and became part of a broader, often-heated debate over how officers use deadly force.
Los Angeles County prosecutors outlined their reasoning in an 11-page memo made public Monday, saying Officer Eden Medina reasonably believed the teenager posed a deadly threat and used "reasonable force" to defend himself and others, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Central to the controversy surrounding the shooting was whether Jesse fired a revolver at police or whether the gun went off after the teenager tossed it away. After examining and testing the revolver, prosecutors wrote, an investigator said that the "most likely explanation of the evidence was that the revolver was fired, then dropped."
The district attorney's office concluded that Medina was forced to make a split-second decision in order to end what he perceived as a deadly threat.
"Under the circumstances, it was reasonable for Medina to believe there was significant and imminent danger to himself, to his partner, and to the many people in the vicinity at that time, from an armed man who was refusing to comply with law enforcement," the district attorney's memo said.