Protests erupt in South L.A. for a second night after police fatally shoot an armed teen
“It’s a shame that his life ended at 18 years old,” said Carlena Hall, center, a great-aunt of Carnell Snell Jr., who was fatally shot by LAPD police in South L.A. At left is Tranell Snell, 17, Snell’s sister, and at right is Debbie Washington, his aunt.(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Marian Petersen, 71, whose last protest was in the 1965 Watts riots, marches down Central Avenue to the LAPD’s Newton Division station after officers shot a Latino boy Sunday night.(Allen J.Schaben / Los Angeles TImes)
Protestors march down Central Ave. to LAPD Newton Division to protest officers shooting a Latino man Sunday night. Protestors started at the site where police fatally shot a man Sunday in South Los Angeles.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A protester holds a sign in front of the LAPD Newton Divison station on Monday night. Protesters started their march at the site where police fatally shot a Latino man Sunday in South Los Angeles.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Carl Winzer lights candles at the scene where 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr. was fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers.(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
“I literally watched my brother catch his last breath,” said Tranell Snell, 17, the sister of Carnell Snell Jr. “I literally watched him, begging him to stay alive for me. Please, please, I begged my brother. Please! They let my brother sit there, sit there and die. They did not care.”(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Mike Miller sits amid dozens of candles that mark the house where 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr. was fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers on Saturday.(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Jamari Brown, 13, holds a sign with other protesters at the site where a Latino man was fatally shot by officers Sunday night near 48th Street and Ascot Avenue.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD officers arrest a protester in the lobby of the police headquarters on suspicion of failure to disperse after Chief Charlie Beck gave details to the media about the shooting death of Carnell Snell Jr.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck speaks at a press conference addressing two recent officer-involved shootings in Los Angeles.(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters shout at police officers inside the lobby of LAPD headquarters while Police Chief Charlie Beck provides details about the officer-involved shooting death of Carnell Snell Jr.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters shout out their messege inside the lobby of LAPD headquarters after Police Chief Charlie Beck gave details to the media about the officer-involved shooting death of Carnell Snell Jr.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD officers move media and protesters away from the lobby of police headquarters after three protesters were arrested on suspicion of failure to disperse following a morning press conference.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The Los Angeles Police Department disperses the crowd along 107th Street in Los Angeles. Four activists were arrested by LAPD.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
An activist is arrested by LAPD Sunday night after police gave orders to leave the area along 107th Street.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Police officers talk with family members and residents along 107th Street, while dispersing the crowd along Western Avenue and 107th Street in South Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
An activist is arrested by LAPD after they gave orders to clear the area along 107th Street. Protesters were rallying after police shot an 18-year-old in South L.A.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Police disperse the crowd along Western Avenue and 107th Street in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sunday night. Four activists were arrested by LAPD.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles police disperse the crowd along Western Avenue and 107th Street in South Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD disperse the crowd blocking Western Avenue after a vigil is held for Carnell Snell Jr., 18, who was fatally shot by police Saturday after a vehicle pursuit, in Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
A women confronts the LA County Sheriif blocking the street after a vigil is held for Carnell Snell Jr., 18, who was fatally shot by LAPD police Saturday after a vehicle pursuit, in Los Angeles.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Jeromy Jackson lights candles at a vigil for his friend Carnell Snell Jr., 18, who was fatally shot by LAPD police Saturday after a vehicle pursuit.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials monitor protesters at 108th Street and Western Avenue after a vigil was held for Carnell Snell Jr. on Sunday.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Residents of a neighborhood near the intersection of Western Avenue and 107th Street arrange candles at a sidewalk memorial for Carnell Snell Jr. on Sunday afternoon.(Luis Sinco / )
A young woman leaves blue and white balloons at a sidewalk memorial to Carnell Snell Jr. on Sunday afternoon.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Monique Morgan, the mother of Carnell Snell, is comforted by a neighbor as they look at a makeshift memorial for Morgan’s son.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Bullet holes mark a steel gate at a residence along 107th Street in South Los Angeles, the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. Police shot and killed Carnell Snell Jr., 18, after a brief car chase that ended near the intersection of 107th Street and Western Avenue in South Los Angeles.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A protestor holds up a sign in South Los Angeles after an officer-involved shooting.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
A man confronts a police officer.(Barbara Davidson / )
A crowd gathers at Western Avenue, where they voiced their frustration with police.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Police line up along Western Avenue in Los Angeles after the shooting.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Activists protest after the police-involved shooting.(Barbara Davidson / )
Los Angeles police try to keep the peace.(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Angry demonstrators poured into the streets of a South Los Angeles neighborhood Sunday night, the second night of protests over the fatal shooting of an armed 18-year-old man.
The rowdy crowd shut down traffic at 108th Street and Western Avenue, where at one point a white sports car was seen doing donuts in the street as police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stood by. Some protesters harassed news reporters and vandalized local businesses, scrawling graffiti on storefronts.
Demonstrators protested the killing of citizens by law enforcement, chanting and carrying signs. One sign stated: “Jail killer cops!”
The protest appeared to stem from a vigil held earlier in the evening for Carnell Snell Jr., who was shot Saturday afternoon by police outside his home near 107th Street and Western Avenue. Police said he bailed out of a vehicle being pursued by LAPD officers and ran away on foot. He was armed with a gun, which was later recovered at the scene, police said.
The crowd dwindled as the night wore on. LAPD officers in riot gear eventually swarmed to move about a dozen people away from 107th Street and Western Avenue and told them to leave or face arrest.
By 11 p.m., officers had arrested four people on suspicion of failing to disperse, LAPD Cmdr. Dennis Kato said. Snell’s family members later told police that some of the people at the protest were not from the neighborhood, Kato said.
Police continued urging people to disperse from the area as they walked down 107th Street, near where Snell was killed. At the makeshift candlelight memorial for Snell, police spoke with demonstrators and eventually turned around to leave the area.
Protesters shut down the same intersection the night before, many shouting profanities at police officers outfitted in riot gear. Another group of protesters marched to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home in Hancock Park late Saturday, and photos showed eggs that had apparently been thrown at the residence.
Earlier Sunday, friends and family members gathered outside Snell’s home, where his mother, Monique Morgan, moaned between sobs, “I want my baby … CJ! CJ! CJ.” A friend propped her up from behind and another waved a fan above her head to deflect the hot sun.
Police said they were pursuing the vehicle that Snell was a passenger in because they believed it may have been stolen. But authorities have not said whether the car was in fact stolen or divulged any more details about the shooting.
The driver of the vehicle remains at large.
A neighbor of Morgan’s, who identified herself as Ms. Crosby, said she saw Snell flee from police officers, then leap over the side gate. She then heard about eight gunshots.
Crosby said she did not see whether Snell was carrying a gun — she only saw him pulling up his pants as he was running.
“I kept telling him, ‘Stop, stop, they’re going to shoot you,’” she said.
Then, she shifted her pleas from Snell to the officers, begging them not to shoot, she said.
Monique Morgan, the mother of Carnell Snell Jr., is comforted by neighbors near a makeshift memorial for her son.
Crosby and other neighbors described Snell, who grew up two doors down from where he died, as a polite young man who helped clean up the trash after block parties.
“He was always a good kid to me. He called me Auntie Ma’am, and he called my husband Uncle Sir,” said one 53-year-old neighbor, who would give only her first name, Latonya.
Another neighbor, Christine Conley, said Snell was about the same age as her daughter and sometimes spent the night at her house when he was a child.
“It didn’t matter religion, gender or race — he always treated people, especially elders, with a lot of respect,” said Conley, 44, a caregiver for the elderly and handicapped.
Throughout Sunday morning and early afternoon, Snell’s friends gathered on the block, where a memorial of candles and flowers filled the sidewalk. They all grew up in the neighborhood together, they said, and were working together on a clothing line and music brand called Only the S7even.
Snell was attending college, enjoyed rapping and was pursuing boxing again after a hiatus, friends said.
Court records show that Snell was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in July and sentenced to a year in Los Angeles County Jail.
But Snell’s friends said they had never known him to be involved with gangs or to carry a gun.
“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time, the LAPD being trigger-happy,” said Eric Hays, 28.
Tye Whitaker, 19, said he had known Snell since they were toddlers. Whitaker recalled that when Snell had a dollar, he would split it fifty-fifty and buy something for his friend.
“I don’t know why they would do that to CJ,” Whitaker said. “He would always make you smile. He had a big smile. He always wanted everyone to have a good time.”
Many people at the scene questioned why the police shot Snell instead of using Tasers or beanbags.
“It looks like with policemen, it’s a thing to do, killing black men,” said Johnny Jackson, 69, the owner of the house where Snell was shot.
Jackson, who is retired from AT&T, said that when he was a young man in Mississippi during the civil rights era, police used billy clubs, water hoses and dogs on black people, but rarely lethal force.
LAPD officials have not said whether Snell made any threatening movements toward the officers who were chasing him.
Assistant Chief Michel Moore said the department expects to release more information soon.
“An investigation continues to be conducted. We anticipate more information to be coming out Monday or Tuesday,” he said.
Jamie McBride, a director for the union that represents rank-and-file LAPD officers, said that if anyone points a gun at a police officer, “we will shoot you.”
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a civil rights advocate who met with the Snell family Sunday, called on the LAPD to clarify its policies for when officers are allowed to use deadly force. He also called on the department to release the names of the officer or officers who shot Snell.
“There has been a rash of shootings. Why now are police officers escalating their use of deadly force?” Hutchinson said. “Is it a fear factor? Do they feel under siege? Are they able to use it because there’s no accountability?”
For more news on the Los Angeles Police Department, follow me on Twitter:@cindychangLA
12:15 a.m.: This article was updated with details about the protest breaking up and information about arrests made.
9:50 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details.
This article was originally published at 5:50 p.m.
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