Anaheim police Friday turned over evidence to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to review and determine if charges are warranted against a Los Angeles Police Department officer involved in a non-injury officer-involved shooting that touched off a few days of civil unrest.
The gun was fired into the ground as an angry crowd approached the officer. The melee began when the officer confronted some young teenagers about getting off of his lawn.
Officer Kevin Ferguson’s attorney, John Christl, declined comment.
Anaheim police dropped off an investigative file Friday morning containing more than 400 pages of reports and about 70 CDs and DVDs, Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
The case has gained notoriety because of cell phone video of the incident, which went viral and touched off resulting disturbances, including one protest that turned violent and led to nearly two dozen arrests.
Ferguson, who was off duty at the time, fired the gun once in front of a group of youths in the 1600 block of West Palais Avenue on Feb. 21.
Ferguson had reportedly confronted the youths about walking on his lawn, which was apparently a persistent problem, Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said in February. A 13-year-old boy allegedly threatened to shoot Ferguson, which prompted him to try to detain the boy, Wyatt said.
The boy, however, maintained he said he was going to “sue” Ferguson, not shoot him.
As he attempted to do so, the crowd grew and some witnesses began videotaping portions of the conflict.
One videotaped account of the conflict shows one boy barreling into Ferguson, knocking him and the 13-year-old over some bushes. Ferguson continued to maintain his hold on the teen.
Another teen is seen stepping in to try to pull the 13-year-old away, and that teen appears to take a punch at Ferguson, but missed.
As Ferguson is seen continuing to hang on to the 13-year-old and get up, others appeared to converge on the officer, who then pulled out a gun and fired a round into the ground. Ferguson held the teen until police arrived.
Ferguson was assigned to a desk job, which is routine in officer-involved shootings. That review is ongoing, Wyatt said.
In a news conference shortly after the incident, Quezada said he hoped it would take two weeks to turn over evidence to prosecutors, but it has taken a great deal more time because the case is “far more complex” than initially thought, Wyatt said.
The sergeant said there are multiple videos “from many different perspectives,” and police had to track down everyone seen in the video accounts and interview them.
Police conducted more than 90 interviews with witnesses, Wyatt said.
–City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: