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LAPD Use of Force Questioned Amid Doubling in Police Killings This Year

The Los Angeles Police Department release of video and audio footage on Monday showing events that led to the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl by an officer firing at a suspect in a store last week has started an intense debate in police’s role in keeping the community safe, Axios reports. The California Department of Justice is investigating the shooting, which occurred when officers fired on an assault suspect and teenager Valentina Orellana-Peralta was struck by a stray bullet in the clothing store dressing room. The suspect, Daniel Elena-Lopez, 24, was also killed. An officer who was placed on administrative leave after the incident hasn't been identified.

San Francisco police commission member John Hamasaki, a criminal defense lawyer who's been involved in reviewing footage of police killings, said there was no evidence from the video that police had tried to deescalate the situation before the shooting. "Deadly force is the last option on the table," Hamasaki said. LAPD officers have fatally shot 18 people in 2021 — more than twice as many as the previous year. LAPD policy stipulates, "Officers may use deadly force only when they reasonably believe, based on the totality of circumstances, that such force is necessary in defense of human life."


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