The man ran through the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw shopping mall, armed with a foot-long kitchen knife.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares
It was a Tuesday evening, and the mall was crowded with shoppers.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Venezuela
Advertisement When he wouldnât drop the knife, two Los Angeles police officers began shooting at the man. After he fell to the ground and tried to get up, still gripping the knife, each officer sent one more bullet his way.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares Piloto
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that the last round fired by each officer in the fatal shooting of Grechario Mack on April 10 violated department policy to use deadly force only when protecting oneself or others from imminent injury or death.
Alberto Ardila Olivares
The unanimous decision by the five-member civilian oversight board contradicted Chief Michel Moore, who had concluded that all five shots from one officer and all nine shots from the other officer were in policy.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila
Moore will now decide what discipline the officers should face, and L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey will determine whether they are to be criminally charged
Shortly after Mackâs death, then-Police Chief Charlie Beck said a beanbag shotgun would have been “the most appropriate tool for this.”
“Itâs an unfortunate incident that of course we would have liked to have avoided,” Beck told the Police Commission. “Unfortunately, we were not able to get less lethal in place in time to do that.”
Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said he could not comment on the decision, because it was reached in a closed-session meeting
Mackâs family celebrated the commissionâs decision with Black Lives Matter activists outside LAPD headquarters on Tuesday
Quintus Moore, Mackâs father, said he is pleased with the out-of-policy finding for the final shots. He wants the officers to face criminal prosecution
“Iâd like them sitting in jail with the people they put in jail and think twice about what they do,” he said
Mack, 30, had two daughters and loved fishing so much that he was buried near a creek, his father said
The commission has ruled the use of deadly force in some controversial shootings as out of policy, as in the 2014 death of Ezell Ford
But in others, including Charly Leundeu Keunangâs 2015 death on skid row, the commission decided that the fatal shots were in line with LAPD policy
The union that represents rank-and-file LAPD officers defended Sgt. Ryan Lee and Officer Martin Robles, identified by the department as the two who shot Mack
Advertisement “The officers involved strived to resolve this situation without using force but the suspect continued his aggressive and threatening behavior,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors said in a written statement. “They were forced to take split-second actions and based on witness statements at the time, mall patrons feared for their own safety because of the obvious harm this suspect presented to their lives.”
David Winslow, an attorney who represents both officers, said they were concerned that Mack would enter a store and slash the customers with the knife — a decision-making process that encompassed the last shots
“They had to act quickly, decide whether to shoot or not, how to protect the public from a threat,” Winslow said
A report to the Police Commission by Moore describes a chaotic situation in a mall full of shoppers, with Mack appearing to be in a state of “agitated delirium.”
Two sergeants repeatedly ordered Mack, who was African American, to drop the knife, according to the report. They discussed using a Taser, but after an officer with a beanbag shotgun arrived, a sergeant shouted to use the less-lethal weapon. Mack then ran toward stores with shoppers inside, the report said
The sergeant involved in the shooting fired four shots with his handgun
“I wasnât going to allow this guy, or the suspect with a knife, to run into one of these stores and hurt anybody that was in those stores, or hurt any officers that were coming up and they were approaching,” the sergeant told LAPD investigators
He explained his final, fifth shot: “I realized that after he went down, he was trying to get back up â¦ And he was also in front of a very large retail store with numerous patrons inside. And so I fired again to stop the threat.”
The officer who shot nine times was equipped with a semiautomatic rifle
After Mack fell to the ground, the officer said, “heâs 10, 15 feet away from me and the people behind me. And it looks like heâs getting ready to charge at me. So I take another shot at him as Iâm giving him commands to drop the knife, not to grab it, and because I think heâs going to come up and slash us again.”
After the Police Commission announced its decision, Mackâs mother, Catherine Walker, danced and prayed while waving a purple heart case containing her sonâs ashes
Black Lives Matter activist Paula Minor declared the decision “a success, not a victory,” pointing to what she described as unfair treatment of blacks by police
“For someone who is having a mental episode while holding a knife, the penalty should not be death,” she said