The homeless man who was killed by Los Angeles police in a videotaped shooting on Skid Row was identified by the coroner’s office Thursday as 43-year-old Charley Leundeu Keunang.
Federal authorities have said the man was a Cameroon national and convicted robber who was supposed to be deported, but was released from custody when Cameroon officials failed to cooperate with the deportation effort.
His killing by police on Sunday has prompted outrage from some community groups who have been protesting police shootings both in Los Angeles and across the country. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Eric Garcetti have called for patience as various investigations are conducted, including probes by the independent LAPD inspector general and the District Attorney’s Office.
According to the LAPD, the two officers and one sergeant who opened fire during Sunday’s confrontation have 24 years of combined service, and no previous officer-involved shooting cases.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a deportation order for the man was issued in April 2013 “while he was incarcerated and serving a sentence in federal prison for armed robbery and firearms convictions.”
He was placed in custody of ICE in June 2013, and the agency tried to deport him, according to the agency.
“Initially, ICE sought to obtain a travel document from French consular representatives based on the subject’s claims of French citizenship,” ICE said. “French consular representatives initially issued one, but then rescinded it after determining the subject was, in fact, a national of Cameroon.”
Cameroon is a country in Africa near Nigeria. After Sunday’s Skid Row shooting, acquaintances of the man referred to him as “Africa.”
“Subsequently, ICE contacted consular representatives for Cameroon, but Cameroonian authorities repeatedly failed to respond to requests for a travel document,” according to ICE.
“Given that ICE was unable to obtain the necessary documentation to carry out the removal, the individual was released from ICE custody under an order of supervision in November 2013 based upon the Supreme Court’s ruling in Zadvydas vs Davis.
“The Zadvydas decision generally allows the detention of individuals who are subject to a final order of removal only for a period of time deemed reasonably necessary to effectuate the removal, generally 180 days.”
Since the man’s release, he had regularly reported to ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations office as required by his order of supervision, according to ICE.
“His next scheduled date to report was March 5,” according to the agency.
The man was also under the supervision of the U.S. Probation and Trial Services System, authorities said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, authorities had initially used fingerprints to identify the man as Charley Saturmin Robinet, the name he was using when he was convicted of a 2000 bank robbery in Thousand Oaks.
But French officials came forward late Tuesday and said Robinet is a law- abiding citizen who is “alive and well in France,” The Times reported.
The man killed during Sunday’s altercation with LAPD officers, French officials said, had stolen Robinet’s identity and used it to acquire a French passport to come to the United States in the late 1990s.
– City News Service