The LAPD is defending two of its officers, one of whom shot and killed an unarmed naked man, claiming self defense. The police union said cops have previously been "killed by naked people … who disarmed the officer."
The shooting occurred early Friday morning in Playa Vista after two officers tried to arrest Reginald Doucet Jr., who was naked and engaged in a heated argument with a cab driver. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Finally, when officers tried to detain him in front of his home, Doucet "immediately attacked both officers," according to police, punching them in the face and head. Then he reportedly tried to take one of the officer's guns.
That's when one of the officers, who has been on the force for 17 months, shot Doucet twice, police said. He died at a hospital.
The other officer has five years with the LAPD and was "battered and dazed," police said.
The police union's president, Paul M. Weber, told the LAT that, "In this case, naked or not, when Mr. Doucet tried to take an officer's gun away from him, he set in motion the chain of events that sadly led to his death." The article also notes that Doucet was a former football player, subtly implying that he had an advantage in size over two armed police officers.
Doucet's neighbor, Chris Ellison, asked some good questions:
Were the police really getting whooped that bad that they needed to shoot him - twice? They can't pull out a billy club? They can't Tase him? They have to shoot him?"