Nipsey Hussle killing: LAPD to investigate why a desk officer turned away a witness

Eric Holder, accused of gunning down Nipsey Hussle, appears in court in Los Angeles.
(Patrick T. Fallon / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Police Department opened an internal affairs investigation to determine why a desk officer turned away the woman who drove the getaway car after her passenger fatally shot rapper Nipsey Hussle.

The Internal Affairs Group is investigating a desk officer’s response at the 77th Street station in April, said Josh Rubenstein, the LAPD’s chief spokesman.

Investigators will interview witnesses and review any recordings from body cameras worn by desk officers, he said. “Early indications” show that miscommunication led to the witness being turned away, he added.

“We want to make sure all of policies and procedures were followed,” Rubenstein said, declining to comment further.


The investigation comes after the Los Angeles Times reported last week that an officer turned the woman away after she spotted her car and license plate on the news.

“Oh my God,” she told her mom, according to her May testimony before a grand jury. “My car is on here and everything and I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know this boy was gonna do this.”

Right away, her mom called the police, who relayed that detectives would be in at 6 a.m. The next morning, they decided, they went to the station to tell police the truth.

But when she showed up at the 77th Street station and told a front desk officer that she wanted to talk to someone because her car was linked to a murder, she testified, an officer turned her away.

“One of the police officers is like, ‘Well, don’t worry about it,’ you know, ‘Don’t listen to the news,’” the woman testified. “My mom said, ‘Well, she needs to talk to somebody.’ But he said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ So we just left.”

The woman did get in touch with detectives later that morning. But her testimony raises questions about why she apparently wasn’t taken seriously when she first tried to report what she knew about a shooting that sparked worldwide headlines and days of memorials and grieving far beyond Hussle’s South L.A. neighborhood. Two other people were wounded.

An LAPD detective corroborated the woman’s account when questioned by a prosecutor during the grand jury hearing, saying the woman showed up at 7 a.m. to “basically either turn herself in or to find out why her vehicle was on — or to speak with detectives regarding her vehicle being on the news,” the transcripts show.

Times staff writer Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.