LAPD homeless shooting case: Witness contradicts police, attorney

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 8 Dec 1999 18:50:02 -0800 (PST)


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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/1999/12/08/state0527ES
T0187.DTL&type=printable
FWD  Associated Press - Wednesday, December 8, 1999 - 02:27 PST

     ATTORNEY SAYS WITNESS CONTRADICTS POLICE IN HOMELESS SHOOTING CASE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Members of the police commission heard portions of a
taped interview that a civil rights attorney says proves a homeless woman
posed no threat to police officers who shot her to death.

Leo Terrell is representing the family of Margaret Mitchell, who on May 21
was shot dead during a confrontation with police over a shopping cart when
she allegedly lunged at an officer with a screwdriver.

A coroner's report made public last month shows that Mitchell, a mentally
ill woman, was shot in the chest at close range by Los Angeles Police
Department officer Edward Larrigan.

During the Tuesday hearing, Terrell said his taped interview with an
unidentified eyewitness who spoke about five days after the shooting
contradicts the police version of events.

``Margaret Mitchell . . . was running away when she was shot,'' the man
said on the tape.

``You run this way you're not a threat,'' Terrell said, moving away from a
group of reporters. ``You're a threat if you go back.''

LAPD Deputy Chief Dave Gascon said the coroner's report substantiated the
officers' account that the shooting was in self-defense.

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