Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore is concerned about two recent fatal police shootings, including one in which officers failed to call for a specially trained mental health team during an interaction with a man in crisis.
Moore said Wednesday he is “deeply concerned” by the deaths of those men, as well as a third, over two days, including two fatally shot by officers and one who went into cardiac arrest hours after police used a stun gun during a struggle, the Associated Press reports. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is investigating the cases of Keenan Anderson, the cardiac arrest patient who is related to a Black Lives Matter co-founder, and Oscar Sanchez. The office has not yet ruled on the cause and manner of their deaths. Both died on Jan. 3.
Takar Smith’s death was ruled a homicide by gunshot wounds. His wife had sought help from police for a restraining order violation on Jan. 2 and warned the LAPD of her husband’s mental health condition.
The shootings occurred amid clamor for nationwide law enforcement reform — particularly when officers interact with people who have mental illnesses — and increased scrutiny on fatal police shootings. Smith, 45, was fatally shot after raising a 10-inch butcher-style knife above his head after officers used a stun gun and pepper spray. LAPD said officers Joseph Zizzo and Nicolas Alejandre opened fire. Smith’s killing has prompted Moore to order additional training for officers. The police department on Wednesday released body-worn video footage of the three instances, well ahead of the typical 45-day deadline. Officers involved in fatal shootings are taken out of the field for at least two weeks.