LAPD officers involved in another struggle with man on skid row

LAPD officers involved in another altercation with man on skid row; no shots fired

Four Los Angeles police officers were involved in a struggle with a man on skid row Wednesday after he tried to grab a television news camera and then scuffled with the officers, police said.

At one point, an LAPD spokeswoman said, the man grabbed hold of a sergeant's holster. The officers used a Taser stun weapon twice in an attempt to detain the man and were able to take him into custody without firing their weapons, LAPD Det. Meghan Aguilar said.

The man, who refused to give officers his name, was being booked at LAPD's Central Division early Wednesday afternoon, she said.

The incident began about noon when a Fox 11-TV reporter and his crew were filming outside the Midnight Mission when a man went after their camera at least twice, Aguilar said. A cameraman held on to the device, but a handle was broken in the altercation.

A member of the television crew called police, she said.

Three officers and a sergeant responded. Aguilar said three of the officers were injured. One was bitten, another hurt an elbow and the third had a cut on the forehead, she said. 

Three of the officers were wearing body cameras, she said.

The altercation comes just three days after LAPD officers shot and killed a homeless man on skid row after police say he grabbed a rookie officer's holstered pistol. Sunday's shooting drew international attention after a witness posted video of the fatal encounter on Facebook.

The LAPD has said in that incident the officers made contact with the man while responding to a 911 call but that he refused to follow their commands and instead tried to fight. When he grabbed the officer's holstered gun, three other officers opened fire.

The shooting has highlighted the difficulties police face in patrolling skid row, where many inhabitants struggle with mental illness and drug abuse. But it has also reignited anger from those living in tent encampments and their advocates, who say police tactics are too aggressive.

Follow @LAcrimes and @katemather for more coverage of the LAPD and skid row.

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