The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled this week that an officer was justified in using deadly force in a shooting that killed an 18-year-old man in South Los Angeles last fall.
Despite clearing the officer who shot Carnell Snell Jr., the commissioners faulted some of the tactics used by officers involved in the chase that ended with the shooting on Oct. 1 at 107th Street and Western Avenue.
Police were trying to stop Snell for driving a light blue Nissan with paper plates that did not match the year of the car, prompting officers to suspect it may have been stolen. After Snell ran from the car officers began to chase him on foot, police said.
Security video of the chase, taken from a nearby business, showed Snell running with his left hand in a sweatshirt pocket, and at one point removing his hand to reveal a handgun. He held the gun at his side briefly, then tucked it in his waistband, turned and ran away from the camera, out of sight, with officers in pursuit.
Snell was shot when he turned toward the officers with the gun in his hand, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene and a .40-caliber handgun was recovered a few feet from his body. No officers were injured.
In the days after the shooting, activists held protests at the scene, outside Mayor Eric Garcetti’s residence in Hancock Park and during a meeting of the commission.