The son of an unarmed man who was shot by officers in Los Feliz slammed police Wednesday for allegedly portraying his father as a criminal.
Walter DeLeon was shot after flagging down police while his arm was wrapped in a towel last Friday. A spokesman for LAPD has said the officers believed he was concealing a gun and refused to drop his arm on command.
A gun was never recovered.
Speaking outside Los Angeles USC Medical Center, where his father remains in a critical condition, 18-year-old William DeLeon said he is unhappy with the explanation the department has given.
"I don't like the way the LAPD is portraying my father as a criminal because he's not. He's a father," DeLeon said.
His family's attorney Caree Harper also claimed the police department is inventing a rationale for the shooting, and denied he had been attempting to commit suicide by cop.
"LAPD (is) trying to make up a reason why they shot another unarmed man of color," Harper said. "Everything they say should not be golden. Every word that comes out of their mouth is not gospel."
She described Walter DeLeon as a hardworking family man who was loved by his children, and claimed he was gunned down without reason. Harper is also unhappy that the shooting, which occurred near the Griffith Park entrance off Los Feliz Boulevard and Tica Drive, was not caught on camera by police.
"Why wasn't it on a body cam or on a patrol car camera? It is far too easy to say 'I thought he had a gun, I thought my life was threatened.' What about a towel is a gun?" Harper said.
A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said the officers on Griffith Park patrol have yet to be issued with body cameras. A multiple agency investigation into the shooting is ongoing.