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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LAPD Shooting

AP reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is urging the Los Angeles Police Department to examine its policies following the fatal weekend shooting of an unarmed man who family members say was autistic.

In a statement released Monday, ACLU of Southern California Executive Director Ramona Ripston said the organization is "deeply troubled" by the shooting.

Police say 27-year-old Steven Eugene Washington was shot by two officers near Koreatown shortly after midnight Saturday after he approached them and appeared to remove something from his waistband.

Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger said the officers fired "in defense of their lives."

In addition to a thorough investigation, Ripston asks that the LAPD "look at changes in department policy and training that could help prevent such a tragedy from recurring."

KPCC-FM follows up:

LAPD officials say they began working with the Autism Society of America three years ago, and started a one-hour course for officers in 2008.

That periodic training focuses on helping officers understand how to deal with an autistic person in the field.

Officials said about 2,500 members of the department had completed the training. They could not say whether the two officers who shot and killed an autistic man in Koreatown on Saturday had received the training.