‘Suspects Escalated’ The 3 Fatal Incidents In 2023


The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) addressed the three fatal incidents involving LAPD in the early parts of 2023, saying the officers used “best practices” in each of the situations.

The three critical incidents involved Takar Smith and Oscar Sanchez, who were shot and killed by LAPD, and Keenan Anderson, who died hours after being taken down, tasered and rushed to a local hospital.

“The officers involved in the three recent incidents engaged in de-escalation tactics that embodied the best practices of attempting to build rapport, calmly engaging the suspects to attempt to secure compliance and reduce the likelihood of any use of force; they used the name of the suspect when they could and spent time trying to calm the suspects as they continually assessed the evolving situations,” the LAPPL wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles City Council. “The suspects escalated each of these incidents, not the responding officers.”

The letter then addressed Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s statement that the three critical incidents should have been treated as mental crises, saying all three men who died were in “violation of the law,” and not mental health calls.

“In none of these incidents would a SMART (LAPD’s mental evaluation unit) unit be the first responder,” the LAPPL wrote in the letter. “And in the two incidents where a weapon was involved, the SMART unit clinician would not engage unless and until the scene was secure and stabilized. Only then would an assessment be made of the detained suspects’ mental health status.”

Councilman Harris-Dawson made his statements at a Black Lives Matter rally held outside of Los Angeles City Hall on January 17, adding that instead of treating the incidents as mental health calls, LAPD responds “with guns and badges, and blaring lights, and shouting, and commands that people may or may not be in a position to adhere to.”

“I will not be convinced by anybody that any of those people deserved to have their life taken,” Harris-Dawson said.

The most recent death involving LAPD was Anderson’s, who was a cousin of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors. It was her accusations of LAPD killing Anderson that led to public pressure and LAPD Chief Michel Moore expediting the body-worn camera footage of each of the three fatal incidents.

The videos caused an uproar from community members and council members alike, leading to multiple initiatives to revise the way LAPD responds to calls and exploring unarmed response options.










































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