From [HERE] John Weber was rummaging through old boxes the other day, looking for memories, when he found a bunch of old baseball and flag football trophies. He has kept other things, too, like a neatly pressed R.O.T.C. uniform, a reminder that he once hoped to steer his son, Anthony, to the Army and away from the streets.
“It’s all I’ve got left,” he said.
On Super Bowl Sunday, after rooting for the Patriots against the Eagles, Anthony Weber left a friend’s apartment to go for dinner with his girlfriend at The Kickin’ Crab, her favorite restaurant.
Around the same time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call. A black man with a gun was threatening a motorist.
Soon, Anthony — a 16-year-old Black teen, was dead in a darkened courtyard of a run-down apartment complex, with no gun anywhere around. The white controlled media is spinning this story by describing Anthony as a "mixed race" child - but we know he was a nigger that night to the cops - most racists believe there is no innocent Black male, just Black male criminals who have not yet been detected, apprehended or convicted.
Nearly two months later, with questions still unanswered, the spot is a makeshift memorial of candles, balloons, flowers, photographs, and placards from rallies. “Jail killer cops!” reads one. “No gun = no alibi = murder,” reads another.
Anthony’s father said, “In South Central, everyone is associated with gangs — it’s just a part of being able to walk to school.” He said Anthony “associated” with neighborhood gang members but was “not a criminal gang member.”
By Mr. Weber’s own account, Anthony struggled. But his past, Mr. Weber said, was irrelevant to his killing.
Anthony’s mother, Demetra Johnson, said that her son “smoked and had a baby at 16,” but she maintained that “he was not a thug or killer, like they are trying to portray.”
She said she had always counseled her son, whom everyone called A.J., that on the streets, he would be regarded with suspicion by the police, especially if he was hanging out with a group of friends.
The sheriff’s department said that the deputies involved in the case believed Anthony had a gun, and that he had refused to obey an order to halt and had run away. When the deputies chased him, according to the department’s statement, Anthony “turned toward the deputies, and that was when a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
No gun was found at the scene. The department said it must have been lost in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, possibly taken by a bystander.
“As you can imagine, until you are at one of these scenes, you don’t have an appreciation for just how chaotic they get, how dangerous potentially,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell told KPCC, a public radio station, about the deputies’ failure to find a gun. “You don’t know which additional threats are in the environment, either,” the sheriff said.
But witnesses and the family’s lawyer, Gregory A. Yates, say the deputies secured the scene immediately, and that no one else had any chance to get close and grab a dropped gun.
Activists and members of Anthony Weber’s family say they have no doubt where things will end up: exoneration for the deputies, the details fading from public memory, and eventually, perhaps after years, a quiet payout to the family from the county.
In Los Angeles, law enforcement officers are rarely held criminally accountable for shootings. The last time a police officer in the city faced criminal charges for a shooting while on duty was in 2000; the shooting was not fatal and the officer pleaded no contest.
The 2014 shooting of Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man, by the Los Angeles Police Department, galvanized the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, but the officers were not charged. Mr. Ford’s family sued the city and received a $1.5 million settlement last year.
An officer involved in another controversial police shooting was cleared this month. The district attorney’s office declined to bring charges against the officer for killing an unarmed homeless man in the Venice neighborhood, even though the police department’s own investigation determined that the shooting was not justified and recommended criminal charges. The city reached a $4 million settlement with the victim’s family. Both the officer and victim were black.
The Venice case is emblematic of the broader frustrations of the Black Lives Matter movement over a lack of progress, despite national attention to the problem. “We’re absolutely frustrated,” Ms. Abdullah said. “I’m in a state of rage.”
Fatal shootings by police officers in the United States have held steady at roughly 1,000 a year over the last three years, according to a tally kept by The Washington Post. But there is no standardized federal database to track police shootings, despite repeated calls after the shooting in Ferguson to create such a system.
The latest incident to stir racial tensions and protests happened in Sacramento, where police officers shot and killed a young black man in his backyard who they thought was waving a gun. It turned out to be a cellphone.
Activists in Los Angeles say police shootings are still distressingly numerous. Last year, officers were involved in 78 shootings in Los Angeles County, down slightly from previous years, according to the Los Angeles district attorney. In New York, by comparison, there were 23 police shootings last year, the lowest total on record.
According to an investigation by KPCC, the public radio station, which pieced together data from a variety of sources, the number of shootings by law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County has remained roughly stable for the past 18 years. In the period from 2010 to 2014, the station found, 24 percent of the fatalities in those shootings were black, though black residents make up just 8 percent of the population.
Changes in police policy have built up “just enough fabric of trust to weather the shooting of a resident without a riot,” Ms. Rice said. [MORE]