Donnell Thompson was both unarmed and innocent. Yet, he was still fatally shot by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputy last month when he was mistaken for another individual who had stolen a car and eluded authorities earlier that night. The department now seems to be doing what they can to take ownership for the situation that should have never escalated to that point.
“We have determined that there is no evidence that Mr. Thompson was in the carjacked vehicle, nor that he was involved in the assault on the deputies,” the LASD said in a statement.
The statement reports that officers received a call from someone claiming that a man was laying in their front lawn. When deputies got the call, they had actually just arrested the man they were looking for, but thought that Thompson may have been involved in some way.
LASD claims that Thompson was laying in a way where his hands couldn’t be seen and wasn’t responding to orders. They go on to say that Thompson then charged towards them, which is when he was shot by a sheriff’s deputy.
“We’ve done our own investigation and have not heard anything to suggest that Donnell Thompson was in any way acting in an aggressive manner or in any way demonstrating that he posed a threat to anyone,” Brian Dunn, the Thompson family’s attorney, told The Huffington Post. “He hadn’t committed a crime, he was not wanted, he had not done anything wrong, he was legally authorized to be where he was, he was legally authorized to be doing what he was doing, he wasn’t breaking the law and he wasn’t armed ― when you take that backdrop of facts it’s just not only a tragedy, but it’s a homicide, in every sense of the word.”
An investigation into the shooting is ongoing and Thompson’s family has demanded an apology. It was also suggested by Thompson’s older sister that, while he was 27, he may have had the mental capacity of a teenager, which may have played a role in his death.
Photo Courtesy: Twitter, Associated Press