Activists Voice Anger Over Police Shooting of Homeless Man - NBC Southern California

Activists Voice Anger Over Police Shooting of Homeless Man

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Controversy Surrounds Police Shooting of Homeless Man

    Organizations are rallying around the shooting of a homeless man in Venice, arguing that it was not justified. Kim Tobin reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019)

    A group of activists voiced anger during Tuesday's Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners meeting over the non-fatal shooting of a homeless man who officers said was acting aggressive and wielding a glass bottle and later a wooden plank.

    About 6 p.m. Aug. 14, officers responded to a radio call of a "screaming man" at Thornton Court and Pacific Avenue in Venice, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    "Upon arriving at the location, the officers encountered the suspect, John Penny, who was initially armed with a glass bottle," according to an LAPD statement. "Penny refused to drop the bottle and approached officers. The officers deployed a Taser, however it appears the darts did not strike Penny."

    Penny then armed himself with a 3-foot plank and again approached the officers, who shot him once in the left arm and once in the left thigh, police said. Penny was treated and booked into jail early the next morning.

    Activists, including members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Community Action Network, gathered at the commission's meeting, contending Penny was on private property with the permission. They contend Penny did nothing to warrant a police response, although they conceded he may have been having "emotional issues."

    "Penny was armed with a bottle. It's miraculous he was shot ... and survived, and now you're going to charge him with a crime?" one speaker said.

    Penny remains jailed in lieu of $775,000 bail, according to sheriff's department records.

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