A police officer whose slaying of a black suspect set off three days of rioting took the stand at his manslaughter trial today and said he fired because the man was bearing down on him with his motorcycle.
“I turned my body to face the motorcycle. He just came straight at me with a tremendous noise,” said Officer William Lozano. “He was just aiming at me. I was just able to turn my body, draw my gun and shoot.”
The five-year veteran of the Miami Police Department said he thought he was going to die and was briefly in shock.
After recovering, he said, he found no vital signs when he checked on the motorcyclist. He said he noticed the man’s injured passenger and radioed a dispatcher.
The prosecution charges that Lozano acted with gross negligence when he shot and killed the motorcyclist, Clement Lloyd, 23, on Jan. 16, sparking three days of rioting in the community’s black neighborhoods. The passenger, Alan Blanchard, died the next day.