LAPD releases photo of bicycle part it says prompted fatal police shooting
Los Angeles police have released a photograph of a bicycle part resembling a gun that they say a man was holding when he was shot and killed a week ago by an LAPD sergeant.
The release of the image Friday night as well as additional information about the moments leading up to the Jan. 11 shooting, came hours after activists staged a rally calling for transparency around the investigation.
According to the preliminary account released by the LAPD, police received a report of a man with a gun near South Sepulveda and South Venice boulevards near Culver City about 12:40 p.m. Jan. 11. Sgt. Colin Langsdale, a field supervisor assigned to the Pacific Patrol Division, was in the area and responded to the call.
Langsdale saw a man on the sidewalk on the south side of Venice Boulevard at Tuller Avenue, according to police. The intersection is adjacent to a homeless encampment under a 405 Freeway overpass.
Langsdale stopped and stepped out of his car and saw the man pointing at him with what he believed to be a handgun, police said. A nearby witness also related that the man appeared to be holding a gun, according to investigators.
Langsdale opened fire and struck the man an unknown number of times, police said. The man was treated at the scene by paramedics, then taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Investigators found a bicycle part in his hand and recovered it as evidence.
Chief Michel Moore identified the man as Victor Valencia, 31, during a Police Commission meeting Tuesday. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has not confirmed the man’s name.
The coroner’s office said its records indicate the man was not homeless, but activists said Friday that members of the nearby encampment had recently asked Valencia to leave because he struggled with mental illness.
At the rally, the activists chanted Valencia’s name and called on the Los Angeles Police Department to release the transcript of the 911 call reporting a man with a gun, as well as body camera and other video footage of the shooting.
Under rules adopted by the Police Commission in 2018, video from “critical incidents” involving the police automatically become public within 45 days after they occur, but the activists want the LAPD to release the footage immediately.
The shooting is under investigation by the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division. That inquiry will then be reviewed by Moore, the Board of Police Commissioners and the office of the inspector general as well as the L.A. County district attorney’s office to determine whether the use of deadly force complied with the department’s policies and procedures, police said.
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