The civilian commission that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department has taken the rare step of rejecting a recommendation from the department's chief, ruling that two police officers were wrong when they fatally shot an unarmed autistic man last year.
Police Chief Charlie Beck concluded after a lengthy internal investigation that the officers made serious tactical mistakes during the brief, late-night encounter, but ultimately were justified in using deadly force against Steven Eugene Washington, 27.
About midnight on March 20, Officers Allan Corrales and George Diego, who worked in an anti-gang unit, were driving in a marked patrol car along Vermont Avenue in the city's Koreatown neighborhood. Both officers told investigators they heard a loud noise — which one described as a "deep boom" — behind them, according to Beck's report on the incident.
The Times obtained a redacted version of the report, which conceals the officers' names. Because of the redactions it is not possible to tell what role each officer played in the shooting.
Two LAPD officers who fatally shot an unarmed man in 2010 were awarded a total of nearly $4 million last week in a discrimination lawsuit that accused the department of treating them unfairly because they are Latino.