‘Top shot’ LAPD officer posts wedding photos holding semiautomatic weapon amid lawsuit against chief

LAPD officer Toni McBride.

A Los Angeles police officer who sued the chief after she claimed she was denied promotions due to her firearm-heavy social media feed recently posted photos of herself holding a semiautomatic firearm at her wedding.

Officer Toni McBride, a trained sharpshooter who earned “Top Shot” in the LAPD police academy, showed off her JW3 TTI MPX Taran Tactical 9mm alongside her husband and wedding party in photos posted online Thursday.

The pictures come just two days after McBride filed an amended complaint in her lawsuit against Chief Michel Moore and the LAPD alleging the top cop personally blocked promotions for McBride because she would not remove videos and photos of her at shooting competitions and firing ranges.


McBride argues she is being targeted for speaking out to her 123,000 Instagram followers on an issue of public concern — the safe ownership and use of firearms. She also said that she is being targeted due to her gender, while male officers routinely post similar content.

The city moved to dismiss the complaint earlier this month.

“Plaintiff did not, in fact, cite to any post which she ever made which she contends actually constitutes a statement concerning a matter of ‘public concern,’” wrote city attorney Keimer Raymond in court papers. “If the Court were to accept Plaintiff’s contention that any statement involving ‘gender’ and ‘guns’ is speech concerning a matter of ‘public concern’, then by way of example, photos of LAPD officers in bathing suits holding weapons would be statements of ‘public concern.’”

McBride first made headlines when she shot and killed 38-year-old Daniel Hernandez who came toward her carrying a box cutter in April 2020. McBride was responding to a car crash on San Pedro Street near East 32nd Street when Hernandez advanced toward her holding the weapon, according to body camera footage. She shot Hernandez six times.

She was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting, though the Los Angeles Police Commission found she violated department policy in the final two shots she fired, when Hernandez was rolling on the ground.

McBride is the daughter of Jamie McBride, the outspoken vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. He was involved in six police shootings, none deadly, in his first 11 years on the job.