When people threaten police officers with a deadly weapon, they alone are responsible for the consequences of these actions.
This basic tenant of law enforcement was resoundingly upheld on Tuesday as the Police Commission ruled that LAPD Officer Frank Hernandez and other officers at the scene near MacArthur Park acted appropriately – and fully within Department policy – in the Sept. 5, 2010 shooting death of Guatemalan immigrant Manuel Jamines.
In unanimously agreeing with Chief Beck’s findings, the commission reaffirmed the right of police officers to take the actions necessary to protect themselves from lethal threats. Lawful commands of police officers must be obeyed. When they aren’t, the situation can quickly take a tragic turn, as it did in this case.
We commend Chief Beck and the members of the Police Commission for their carefully considered conclusion. They did the right thing and sent a clear message: an officer’s use of lethal force is largely determined by an individual’s actions and willingness to comply with lawful commands.