Another unarmed black man has been gunned down by police. Michael Byoune, 19, was fatally shot and Larry White, 19, was wounded in the leg. Top Inglewood police officials struggled Monday to explain why officers fatally shot the unarmed motorist over the weekend, acknowledging that there was no evidence linking the man or others in the car to the gunfire that drew police to the scene. The explanation is that the officers opened fire because they heard gunshots in the area and saw the vehicle coming toward them. Police said they found expended rounds suggesting that someone was shooting in the area, but they were still trying to determine who was behind it. So, I guess the first thing the cops decided to do was to open fire and kill an unarmed man and wound his friend. One of the officers who opened fire had been with the department 5 1/2 years and his partner had been with the department less than one year.
Preliminarily, they said the incident began about 1:40 a.m. Sunday when the two officers heard gunshots while patrolling the 3000 block of Manchester Boulevard. At least three independent witnesses told investigators that they saw a man pointing a gun in the direction of the officers who had pulled into a Rally’s fast-food restaurant parking lot. Expended rounds that did not come from the officers’ weapons were found in the parking lot. About the time the officers heard the gunfire, they saw a man run and get into a slow-moving car in which Byoune was riding. The officers said they heard more shots and felt something hit their cruiser, then fired several shots as the vehicle moved toward them, according to police.
Police now believe that the man who entered the vehicle was not connected to the shooting. Byoune was shot at least three times in the torso and died at the scene, said Los Angeles County coroner’s investigator Jerry McKibben. White, the driver, was wounded in the leg. Another passenger was not injured.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Inglewood police officials have offered conflicting details and accounts of the shooting since Sunday. They originally said the incident might have been gang-related; hours later, they said none of the three men in the car were suspected gang members. Police spokesmen have focused on the officers’ hearing gunshots, and feeling under attack as their car was struck by something. Later they said there was no evidence that the police cruiser had been hit. Asked whether there was any evidence of bullets striking the police cruiser, Seabrooks responded: “No, there were not. Not that we could clearly identify as coming from an external source.” But Los Angeles County coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said there were “multiple bullet holes through the front of the windshield” of the police car.
The sad reality is that a mother lost her son on Mother’s Day. I do not want to rush to judgment on these cops, but all too often the police uses excessive force. Maybe it is a lack of experience, sensitivity training or just a lack of judgment. It seems that we hear of too many unarmed black men getting shot by police. Yes, there are some black, white and Hispanics that do find them-selves on the wrong side of the law. Maybe that is where this mentality is coming from with the police that once they see a car with black men driving then they are up to no good. This is a flawed way of thinking, as evidenced from Douglas Zeigler, the highest ranking black office in the New York Police Department getting harassed by a white cop. I hope the real truth comes out on what happened in this case so that the young man’s family can have closure. If this is a case of police brutality, then it needs to be treated as such and the cops punished to the fullest extent of the law. Again, I am not accusing anyone of committing a crime, but this man was unarmed. He didn’t have to be shot to death. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..