Off-Duty Officer Pulls Gun & Fires During Altercation with Group of Teens — Should He Be Punished?

The beginning of the altercation is not on film. What is shown are just the moments when it gets heated up. So needless to say, we only have a portion of the story. However, from what is available, what would you say should be the course of action? Should the officer or teen be punished?

The incident sparked a protest of 300 people. Officers had to protect the cop-in-question’s home. About 24 people were arrested during this ‘protest’ and some property damage did occur.

A day after an off-duty Los Angeles police officer fired his gun during a confrontation with a group of teenagers in Anaheim, videos purportedly showing the encounter spread online, prompting questions about the officer’s actions.

No one was injured by the gunfire, but the footage — posted on YouTube and Facebook  — sparked a flurry of phone calls and emails to Anaheim police, who are investigating the officer’s actions.

On Wednesday night, about 300 demonstrators took to the streets of Anaheim to protest the case. The marchers began in the west Anaheim neighborhood where the shooting occurred and eventually moved into major streets.

The group took over several lanes of Euclid Avenue, at times blocking intersections.

Protesters chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Whose streets, our streets” as they marched around the residential neighborhoods surrounding Euclid Avenue.

Some threw rocks, cursed at police officers and kicked police cars. Others tried to protest at the house of the off-duty LAPD officer, which was nearby.

VIDEO OF ALTERCATION: WARNING FOUL LANGUAGE

Anaheim police gave the order to disperse at around 10 p.m. About 100 people remained in the chilly air, gathering on the corner of Palais Road and Euclid Street.

Police blocked off the intersection and faced off with the protesters, who chanted slogans and brandished signs at the officers.

Many of the protesters were young people who had seen the video on their social media feeds and wanted to do something. Jocelyne Gutierrez, 21, and her friend Karla Zuniga, 20, decided to join the protest at around 9 p.m.  Gutierrez said she saw herself in the boy in the video.

“It could have been me, my friend or someone from my family,” she said.

At around 11 p.m., police advanced toward the protesters, trying to get them to leave. About 24 people were arrested, police said. According to initial reports, they included 10 men, eight women, three male juveniles and three female juveniles. The detainees face misdemeanor counts of failing to disperse, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer.

Police reported several residence and vehicle windows broken and other acts of vandalism but had no estimate of damage.

The Anaheim Police Department was flooded with calls about the video.

“Calling and sending emails to APD voicing your displeasure will NOT impact the outcome,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “A decision whether or not to file charges rests with the District Attorney’s office and is based on facts and evidence.”

The department said in a separate statement that although officials could not “authenticate the validity of these videos” posted online because they were not recorded or shared by the department, “they do appear to depict portions of the incident in question.”

 

 

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