Once again, a young black man loses his life to the LAPD under shady circumstances.
Civil rights activists Saturday urged Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck to review policies for officers dealing with intoxicated or mentally disturbed people in light of the shooting death of a nearly naked man in Playa Vista early Friday.
Reggie Doucet Jr., 25, a former college football player, apparently got into a dispute with a cabbie bringing him home from a Hollywood club and stripped naked about 3 a.m. outside the Crescent Park West condominiums, where he reportedly lived.
When police arrived, they were able to get him to put on some boxer shorts, but he allegedly ran off. Officers confronted him in the doorway of a building, and Doucet allegedly started fighting with the officers. When he allegedly tried to grab an officer’s gun, he was fatally shot.
“I heard them try to detain him and he would not comply and there was a fight, a physical fight, and then I heard two shots,” neighbor Monica Vogelbacher said.
Doucet’s sports agent said he was at a loss to explain what happened.
“Maybe he was belligerent, I don’t know, but I have never seen him drunk. Never. Violent? Never,” Chris Ellison told the Los Angeles Times. “He was an outstanding young man who was trying to make a better life.”
The two officers who fought with Doucet were treated for minor injuries — police said both suffered blows to the face — and a squad car was destroyed in a crash in the 4200 block of Centinela Avenue as backup officers rushed to the scene.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Roundtable and Eddie Jones of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association met with Doucet’s friends, family and neighbors Saturday during a vigil at the site of the shooting and urged Beck to review Los Angeles Police Department policies for officers dealing with intoxicated or mentally disturbed people.
“Friends and neighbors of Doucet expressed shock and anger at the killing,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “They want honest answers as to why LAPD had to resort to the use of deadly force with an unarmed suspect who may have had an emotional issue.”