Fatal police encounters

Eulia Love, 1979:

Incident: A pair of LAPD officers shot and killed Love after they were called to her South L.A. home over an unpaid gas bill.

Outcome: The department found the officers acted within policy, prompting widespread outrage. The Police Commission found the officers violated department policy and set new rules stipulating the commission would adjudicate major use of force cases.

Margaret Mitchell, 1999:


Incident: LAPD officers shot and killed the mentally ill homeless woman after police said she lunged at officers with a screwdriver.

Outcome: Then-Police Chief Bernard C. Parks acknowledged the officers used poor tactics but said the officer who fired was legitimately concerned for his safety. The Police Commission concluded that because Mitchell didn't pose a deadly threat, the shooting was out of policy.

Devin Brown, 2005:

Incident: An officer shot and killed Brown after the 13-year-old drove a car onto a sidewalk and then backed it up toward the officer.

Outcome: Then-Chief William Bratton said the officer's actions were justified because his life was threatenedThe Commission overruled him, finding shooting violated department policy.

Steven Washington, 2010:

Incident: Washington, an unarmed autistic man, was fatally shot by officers in Koreatown after they allegedly spotted a dark object in his waistband.

Outcome: Chief Charlie Beck found the officers had violated LAPD policies in how they approached and engaged Washington, but said it was reasonable for them to think he had a gun and intended to shoot them. The Police Commission disagreed , saying Washington "did not engage in any conduct that posed a threat warranting the use of lethal force."

Source: Los Angeles Police Commission and Times reports

--Kate Mather