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Video of Gardena Shooting a Rare View Into Police Tactics Under Stress

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Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez, left, who was wounded in the Gardena police shooting that left Ricardo Diaz Zeferino dead, and Diaz Zeferino’s brother, Agustin Reynoso, at a news conference Wednesday. (Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

As their patrol car video cameras rolled, the Gardena police officers jumped out, lined up and lifted their handguns.

The officers can be seen in the recordings ordering three men to raise their hands. But one man lowered his, raised them, extended empty palms toward the officers, then pulled off his baseball cap and lowered both arms to his side.

As he began to raise his hands again, the officers opened fire almost simultaneously, and the unarmed man crumpled to the ground.

Los Angeles County prosecutors concluded that the officers didn’t commit a crime and the Gardena Police Department decided they did not deserve to be disciplined as a result of the June 2, 2013, shooting. But with the videos now public, several experts on police use of force questioned some of the officers’ tactics and wondered whether the shooting could have been avoided.

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