LAPD sergeant’s fatal shooting of man holding bicycle part in Culver City was justified: Police Commission

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A bicycle part police say was held by a man when a Los Angeles Police Department officer mistook it for a gun and fatally shot him in Culver City on Jan. 11, 2020. (LAPD)

A bicycle part police say was held by a man when a Los Angeles Police Department officer mistook it for a gun and fatally shot him in Culver City on Jan. 11, 2020. (LAPD)

The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled Tuesday that an LAPD sergeant acted within department policy when he fatally shot a 31-year-old man who was holding a bicycle part that resembled a handgun in Culver City in January.

The unanimous decision, justifying the sergeant’s actions and clearing him of any punishment, came after family members of Victor Valencia told the commission during a virtual Zoom meeting that Valencia suffered from mental illness, was of little threat and deserved better.

“There’s other ways to go about things,” said Sara Cervantes, Valencia’s cousin. “What gave the reason for this officer to shoot down my cousin like he was nothing?”

Cervantes and another family member said that officers should be better trained to understand people with mental illness and see them as people deserving of compassion.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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