Police Commission Faults LAPD Officers in Separate 2015 Fatal Shootings

Investigators examine the scene near downtown L.A. where two Los Angeles police officers shot and killed Norma Guzman, a 37-year-old woman who police say was carrying a knife, on Sept. 27, 2015. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Investigators examine the scene near downtown L.A. where two Los Angeles police officers shot and killed Norma Guzman, a 37-year-old woman who police say was carrying a knife, on Sept. 27, 2015. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Commission decided Tuesday that LAPD officers violated deadly force rules in two controversial fatal shootings last year, including one in which a woman armed with a knife was shot and another in which officers killed a man who had thrown a beer bottle at their patrol vehicle.

The civilian panel that oversees the LAPD announced that it had faulted both officers who fatally shot James Joseph Byrd in October after a bottle shattered the back window of their patrol car in Van Nuys. The department had said at the time that the officers mistakenly thought they had come under fire.

In the Sept. 27, 2015, shooting of Norma Guzman, the commission found fault with both the tactics and the use of deadly force by one of the two officers who shot her as she was walking along a street near downtown while carrying an 8-inch knife.

Guzman’s killing prompted criticism of the LAPD, with local activists and her family questioning why officers didn’t use less-lethal devices, such as Tasers, before firing their guns at the 37-year-old.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.