Graphic video of officer involved shooting – LAPD Van Nuys Division – suspect holds woman hostage, slashes her throat, police shoot and kill both the suspect & victim (critical incident NRF040-18)

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It is my policy to generally not criticize police officers use of force online, because I was not there, but I will here, because the outcome is unacceptable. However in this case, I am also criticizing their departments policies that can either restrict, effect, or endanger them (or in this case the citizens).

I have so much to say, but instead, I will only cover the following points.

  • The air unit should have only arrived at the patrol officer’s request. Because the air unit ruined the officers ‘element of surprise.’ Traditionally LAPD Air Support Div. is good about that.
  • Had the officers been able to park further away (concealing their vehicles on a side street, or 1 block behind) and sneak-in on foot, they would have had both the ‘element of surprise,’ and a ‘tactical advantage.’
  • The officers should not have considered the ‘less lethal’ option in this situation (bean bag rounds). But in their defense, this is the policy of their own management, whom was not on scene.
  • The officers should have immediately shot the suspect with their firearms (real guns) when he was closer to them, and further away from those victims.
  • Their procrastination to use lethal force, gave the suspect an opportunity to retreat, and take the female hostage.
  • As soon as the suspect advanced towards the victim, they should have killed him there.
  • But instead, the officers provided this opportunity for the suspect, consequently this enabled him to slash her throat.
  • Three officers should have never fired in this situation.
  • One officer should have been the ‘designated shooter’ (DS), and another standing by, but only if the DS had a ‘weapons malfunction.’ Shot placement matters, this should have been one head shot, from one officer (rather than 18 rounds from three). Then, the victim would have never been shot by the police.
  • Ironically the only person in imminent danger at the time the shots were fired, was the victim, and the officers shot her.

Though the suspect is the primary cause of this, the officers made serious tactical errs. In defense of these officers, they had much more to worry about than losing their lives. They are also faced with a ‘use of force policy,’ and ‘board of rights hearings,’ and a liberal ‘citizens review board’ that don’t always have their backs.

Perhaps it’s time to change their ‘less than lethal’ polices, as they are often ineffective, creating more danger for the officers and citizens. It’s been said never take a knife to a gunfight. Then why would we expect our officers to take a popgun to a knife fight?

Side note: An autopsy will later reveal if the ‘cause of death’ and ‘manner of death,’ was the knife wound, or the officers bullet(s). If I were the family, I would demand an independent autopsy by a forensic pathologist not associated with the city or county (or have one present during the autopsy).

In closing, to born-again Christians. Remember to pray for the safety of the officers in your city. But more importantly, pray for their salvation as you share the Gospel with them (in this video I serve the Chief of Police with an IPOC Gospel Tract). For more LAPD related posts, click on my LAPD tag 


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