Cop who killed homeless woman could have disarmed her, report

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 28 Oct 1999 13:36:18 -0700 (PDT)


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Has anyone seen the related LA Times article referred to below?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/10/28/state081
8EDT0217.DTL
FWD  Associated Press - Thursday, October 28, 1999

REPORT: CHIEF SAYS OFFICER WHO KILLED HOMELESS WOMAN COULD HAVE DISARMED HER

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The officer who shot a mentally ill homeless woman to
death after she allegedly brandished a screwdriver had a chance to disarm
her when she put the tool in her shopping cart and pushed it towards him,
the Los Angeles Times reported today.

The Times, citing sources it did not identify, said Los Angeles Police
Chief Bernard C. Parks has submitted a report to the Police Commission that
said Officer Edward Larrigan used poor tactics when he pushed the shopping
cart back at the woman.

Parks also criticized Larrigan for putting himself in jeopardy by getting
too close to the woman, according to the Times.

Margaret Mitchell, 54, was pulling a shopping cart containing her
belongings when two officers on bicycles asked her if the cart was stolen.

Police say Mitchell was uncooperative and lunged at them with a
screwdriver, prompting Larrigan, 27, to shoot her once in the chest.

Parks has found that the May 21 shooting was within police guidelines,
according to published reports.

A police spokeswoman has confirmed that Parks made a recommendation to the
Police Commission about the case based on a report from his department's
use-of-force review board. However, she declined to reveal it.

According to the Times, Parks' findings are enough for Larrigan to face
some sort of discipline if the Police Commission agrees with them. Officer
Kathy Clark, who drew her gun but did not fire, would not be disciplined,
the sources said.

The case has prompted numerous protests and allegations of excessive force.
Critics say Larrigan should have subdued the 5-foot-1-inch, 102-pound woman
by non-lethal means.

END FORWARD

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