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ACLU SoCal Communications & Media Advocacy, (213) 977-5252, communications@aclusocal.org

February 22, 2017

Please attribute the following statement to Jennifer Rojas, community engagement and policy advocate at the ACLU of Southern California, in regard to an off-duty LAPD officer's actions during a confrontation with teenagers in Anaheim:


"The ACLU of Southern California is deeply disturbed by reports that an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer fired his gun during a dispute with teenagers he accused of walking on his property at his Anaheim residence.

According to reports and viral video footage, the officer forcibly held a 13-year-old and dragged him across several yards as a crowd of other youths watched. When one of the youths intervened and pushed the officer over a hedge, the officer took out a handgun and fired it in close proximity to the crowd. None of the youths were hit.

Anaheim police officers arrived on the scene and arrested two of the teenagers, but not the LAPD officer. The 13-year-old was booked for criminal threats and battery; a 15-year-old was arrested for assault and battery.

The ACLU calls on the LAPD to investigate the matter fully and take appropriate action in regard to the officer. It also calls on the Anaheim Police Department to provide a full explanation of why, in an altercation between the police officer and youths, the youths were arrested but not the officer who fired his gun.   

An officer, even off duty, has an obligation to follow the law and protect public safety, rather than threaten it. The LAPD officer's actions on the video are grossly irresponsible."
 

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