The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has admitted that an unarmed African-American man shot dead by a deputy last month was not a carjacking suspect they were seeking.
Donnell Thompson, 27, was shot at close range on July 28 by a deputy riding an armored vehicle as police were looking for suspects following a car chase and shootout in Compton.
“We have determined that there is no evidence that Mr. Thompson was in the carjacked vehicle, nor that he was involved in the assault on the deputies,” police said in a statement.
Deputies encountered an unarmed black man lying motionless on the ground and assumed he was a suspect who had opened fire on officers.
They closed in on Thompson using armored vehicles, then threw a concussion grenade in his direction and fired a rubber baton at him, the statement said.
Thompson was initially unresponsive to police commands, but then allegedly stood and charged at officers, prompting the deputy to open fire at him. No weapon was recovered at the scene.
“We don’t know why he was in the state he was in,” according to sheriff’s Captain Steve Katz.
Relatives of Thompson said they planned to bring a civil rights lawsuit against the county over the fatal shooting. Read full on Press
Cover Photo: Nick Ut, AP