LAPD Dealing with Shooting of Black Man (Jermaine Petit) AFTER Being Told He was UNarmed
*Social media users are left outraged after shocking bodycam footage shows the moment LAPD officers shot a Black man in a drive-by — despite acknowledging moments before firing that he was unarmed.
The man’s name is Jermaine Petit and fortunately survived the attack. Petit is a father and an Air Force veteran, who signed up just before the September 11 attacks. Petit has long struggled with mental illness and PTSD, which he’s being treated for, but has also led him to be arrested 24 times as of February 2019.
But things changed on the evening of July 18, 2022 when a male homeowner called 911 after confronting a man who appeared homeless and was behind their house in the Leimert Park neighborhood. The homeowner claimed the man, later identified as Petit, refused to leave and had pulled a “pistol” on him. When officers found Petit, they ordered him to “come here.” Instead, he continued to walk away, nervously looking back and mumbling.
With his gun drawn, an officer followed Petit and repeated “take your hands out of your pockets, bro.” His partner, Officer Daryl Glover, drove ahead to follow Petit. The first officer soon confirmed that Petit, who was holding an object, was not carrying a gun — it was later confirmed as a broken car part. But, Glover insisted to yell, “Hey, drop it!” A second patrol car, driven by LAPD Sgt. Brett Hayhoe, arrived to the scene. Moments later, the first of three shots were fired from Hayhoe’s car window. LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz has since confirmed that Hayhoe fired first from his vehicle, and that Glover then fired.
Police are seeking a misdemeanor charge of possession of an imitation weapon to be filed against Petit, according to an LA Times report. A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said Thursday that a decision had not been made on whether to prosecute Petit.
The LAPD’s decision to pursue a criminal case has drawn strong condemnations from neighbors, activists and academics, who see the department’s response as an attempt to deflect scrutiny from its officers’ actions.
Others have said such shootings are tragic outcomes from situations in which officers are forced to make split-second decisions about people they believe are armed.
Petit was the latest in a long string of people to be shot or forcibly arrested by an LAPD officer while in the midst of a mental crisis. The violent encounters have fueled demands by critics that police no longer be sent to calls for help involving people with mental illnesses and replaced with unarmed mental health professionals.
A recent Times report found that about a third of the more than 30 people shot by LAPD officers through November of last year were believed to have had a mental illness at the time.