THE THIN BLUE LINE
Immediately after Los Angeles police officers shot a 39-year-old Black man in the back several times, the department claimed its officers believed he was carrying a gun. In body camera footage of the July 18 incident released Wednesday, however, an officer can be heard saying, “It’s not a gun, bro,” as they pursue him on foot.
A 911 caller had alerted law enforcement to a man walking around the area brandishing “a black, semi-automatic gun,” according to audio of the call. Responding officers came across Jermaine Petit, who partially matched the caller’s description of the suspect, several blocks away from where the incident was reported.
The festivities begin at about the 6 minute mark.
In the footage, Petit is seen walking away as the officers converge on him with their weapons drawn. An officer then says, “What is… Bro, you said that’s not a gun?” “Hey, drop it!” says another, identified as Officer Daryl Glover Jr., as they chase Petit across a road.
The cops shoot Petit anyway.
After shooting Petit several times in the back, the cops yell to each other to take cover after Petit “shifted”on the ground. The cops yell at Petit “stop reaching for it.”
◾️Petit is an Air Force veteran with a history of mental illness.
◾️Hours after the shooting, a LAPD spokesman said that Petit had a gun.
◾️Two days later, the cops admitted it was a car “component”.
◾️Ten days after the shooting, at a town hall, one captain called the car part a “non-functioning firearm”.
◾️Two days after the shooting, law enforcement recommended that the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office file two charges of brandishing a replica firearm against Petit.
The “non-functioning firearm” that the LAPD insists on calling black.
After spotting Petit walking down the sidewalk, two officers exit their vehicles with their guns drawn and order Petit to stop, the body camera videos show.
“Hey, come here,” one officer says. “Hey, take your hands out of your pocket, bro.”
In the video, Petit appears to point an object at the officers. As the officers continue to follow Petit, one says: “It’s not a gun, bro.”
“What is … You said that’s not a gun?” the second officer responds, according to the footage.
After the shooting, Petit was transported to a hospital, where he remained in critical condition for several days, according to a GoFundMe set up by his daughter. On July 29, the LAPD said that Petit was recovering from his injuries but was being held in the hospital on two outstanding arrest warrants in lieu of $100,000 bail.
It was not immediately clear on Thursday if Petit remained hospitalized, with a request for updates on his status filed by The Daily Beast not immediately returned.
✱A door latch lock actuator is the component in electronic door locks that is responsible for locking and unlocking the vehicle’s doors. I’m unsure if the one in the above photo is for door locks.