No Charges Against LAPD Officers Who Fatally Shot Woman in Controversial 2015 Downtown Killing

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Prosecutors announced Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed against two Los Angeles police officers who shot and killed a woman in 2015 — marking a familiar coda in a controversial slaying that drew a rebuke from a civilian police oversight panel.

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 decision not to hold the officers criminally liable in the death of Norma Guzman came after prosecutors reviewed evidence, including video of the shooting captured on the officers’ body cameras.

In a memorandum made public Wednesday, prosecutors laid out the facts of the case and concluded that Los Angeles Police officers Samuel Briggs and Antonio McNeely had reason to fear for their lives and “acted in lawful self-defense and defense of others.”

According to the document, on the morning of Sept. 27, 2015, a man called 911 to report a woman wielding a knife and screaming outside a barbershop on South San Pedro Street in downtown L.A. When the officers arrived at the scene and spotted Guzman, Briggs told McNeely that she looked crazy, adding an expletive. A moment later he said: “Oh, she’s got a knife!”