Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday offered a vigorous defense of the officers who were involved in Sunday's fatal police shooting of a man holding a knife, saying they were heroes who "acted with bravery."
One day after protesters shouted such words as "killer" and "assassin" at his police chief, Villaraigosa spoke at length about the circumstances surrounding the death of Manuel Jamines, a Guatemalan day laborer who was shot by a police officer on a busy Westlake street.
"Let's be clear, and I will be, about what happened in the Westlake area," Villaraigosa told reporters. "There was a man with a knife. That man with a knife was threatening individuals, innocent people who were on the street there. That man was in close proximity - in fact, the facts will show that actually he had his hand on at least one person at some point in that altercation."
"We've got to go through an investigation," Villaraigosa went on. "But when it's all said and done, I'll guarantee you what's going to come out is that these guys are heroes, and I stand by them."