Last summer, Los Angeles police released dramatic video of a violent encounter that unfolded near a Van Nuys church: A man in a standoff with police suddenly grabbed a bystander and held a knife to her throat. Three officers then unleashed a volley of gunfire that fatally wounded them both.
On Tuesday, a civilian oversight panel ruled that two of the three officers violated department policy on the use of deadly force in the incident.
Guillermo Perez, 32, was armed with a knife and a metal chair during the June 16 confrontation. The officers fired a total of 18 rounds when Perez did not follow orders to drop the knife. Officers had initially fired a less-lethal beanbag shotgun, but Perez had blocked some some of those rounds with the metal chair.
Elizabeth Tollison, a 49 -year-old homeless woman, was standing nearby against a wall during the encounter. She used a walker and may have frozen with fear or been unable to quickly move away before Perez wrapped his arms around her and pressed the knife against her throat, police said.
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