At a year-end news briefing Wednesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva touted his agency’s homeless outreach efforts, addressed an uptick in homicides and announced his move to discipline deputies who fired 34 shots at a car in 2019, killing an unarmed man.
Villanueva said one of the deputies who shot and killed Ryan Twyman was terminated, while the second was given a 30-day suspension. Dist. Atty. George Gascón is still reviewing the shooting, along with dozens of other on-duty shootings since 2016, to determine if it was justified, a delay for which Villanueva said there is “no excuse at all.” Prosecutors have not made decisions on one case from both 2016 and 2017, two cases from 2018 and 12 from 2019.
“They leave two parties on hold, their lives on hold,” said Villanueva, arguing that the shooting reviews should wrap up in 90 days. “The victims of the deceased, for example, they’re looking for justice, they believe justice needs to be served, they’re not getting it because it’s in limbo. The deputies involved, who believe they did the right thing, they’re in limbo forever until the district attorney comes up with a decision.”
The June 2019 killing occurred when deputies pulled up to a South L.A. apartment complex, stepped out of the patrol car and quickly drew their weapons. Within 20 seconds, they began shooting, firing 34 rounds at a white Kia backing out of a parking space.
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