The Los Angeles police officer who accidentally killed a Chilean teenager by shooting a suspect in a store in December 2021 was wrong to shoot more than once, the Police Commission of that Californian city ruled, local media reported Wednesday.
Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr. shot three times 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez, who had brutally attacked two women at a North Hollywood-area clothing store.
The officer’s shots killed López, but also 14-year-old Valentina Orellana Peralta, who was in a dressing room with her mother, Soledad Peralta.
Videos from officers’ body cameras revealed that the interior of the fitting room at the Burlington Coat Factory store was out of sight of officers and directly behind where Elena Lopez was standing when she was shot.
The Police Commission justified that Jones fired once, but that his two subsequent shots were outside of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) policy, the Los Angeles Times newspaper reported Wednesday.
The commission also ruled Tuesday night that the tactics used by five officers and a supervising sergeant in confronting the assailant were inappropriate.
LAPD chief Michel Moore had described in his report that Jones’ tactics were misguided, in part, because he had not learned from other officers on the scene that the suspect was not armed with a firearm, as he had been told. one of the 911 callers had reported.
However, the report submitted to the commission revealed that at least one of the callers said a man was shooting inside the store.
The decision of how to punish Jones and any of the other officers now rests with Moore.
The Chilean teenager’s family sued the LAPD last July alleging negligence.
The legal complaint stresses that “within the Los Angeles Police Department there was and is a custom, policy and practice… that fostered an environment that allowed this shooting to occur.”
The suit calls for a jury trial and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.
The death of the young Chilean, who had emigrated to the United States six months ago, sparked a wave of protests over the actions of the Police. The California Attorney General’s Office is also investigating the incident.