As expected, the story around the fatal police shooting of a man “acting bizarrely” in Los Angeles has gained some details but not a whole lot of clarity, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
The victim has been identified as 34-year-old Miguel Cano. LAPD officers encountered Cano on Stagg Street in Lake Balboa Monday afternoon after 911 calls reported that he was “running in and out of traffic, acting very aggressively,” according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. Cano’s alleged strange behavior was originally reported as “standing in traffic,” with no mention of aggression.
Today’s report alleges that Cano “refused to submit to arrest,” and that the unarmed man “charged” at police. Police say they shot Cano with Tasers and bean bag rounds, but were unable to bring him down.
Here’s where things get a bit hazy, and this will be a pivot point for this story going forward: the Los Angeles Times story says a witness, Terin Santiago, claims Cano was unarmed. Police, on the other hand, allege Cano wrestled a bean bag shotgun away from officers, and it was this turn of events that necessitated the use of lethal force.
As a commenter pointed out about yesterday’s report, bean bag rounds are a less lethal projectile, but not necessarily non-lethal: a Department of Justice study of so-called “impact munitions” found eight deaths resulting from their use among 373 cases studied. If Cano was armed with a bean bag shotgun, as reported by police, he was a considerable danger to himself and others. Of course, there is still the question of how a single unarmed man came into close physical proximity with multiple armed officers and wasn’t subdued.
Police are reportedly investigating whether drugs or alcohol contributed to Cano’s behavior. Cano’s mother apparently told local TV that he’d been homeless and struggling with alcohol abuse for at least a few years.