An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer who fired his gun during a confrontation with a group of teenagers outside his Anaheim home will not face any criminal charges, the Orange County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday. Photo from YouTube.
An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer who fired his gun during a confrontation with a group of teenagers outside his Anaheim home will not face any criminal charges, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Photo from YouTube.

Activists were poised to protest Thursday an announcement that an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer will not face charges for firing his gun during a conflict with a group of teenagers outside his home last year.

The protest is planned from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the 1600 block of West Palais Road where the shooting happened Feb. 21.

The activists are upset that Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas concluded that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Kevin Ferguson committed any crimes when he got into a confrontation with the teens that led to Ferguson firing his service revolver into the ground in what he said was a warning shot. The incident, which was caught on cell phone videos, sparked several protests last year, including one that led to two dozen arrests and the vandalizing of a home protesters mistakenly thought was Ferguson’s residence.

“This happens all the time, there’s a pattern of it — the District Attorney waits almost a year to do a press conference and then they announce they’re not guilty,” said Naui Huitzilopochtli, who organized Thursday’s protest.

“He takes out a gun, shoots a gun and nothing happens to this guy. He doesn’t get fired or goes to jail,” Huitzilopochtli said. “It’s just a pattern and we’re sick of it… Anybody else gets fired, but just because they’re police they get away with it.”

Huitzilopochtli said the authorities have a racist double standard of prosecuting “a person of color” for shooting a gun in such a manner, but not someone who is white, such as Ferguson.

Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt disagreed.

“Race had nothing to do with this,” Wyatt said. “It was an analysis according to the law.”

Michelle Van Der Linden of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said: “The Orange County District Attorney’s Office bears a legal and ethical obligation to file only those charges that are supported by the evidence that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury.”

Wyatt said police support such protests but advised activists to keep it peaceful.

“Anaheim police support people’s 1st Amendment rights, however, they need to express their opinions in a lawful manner,” Wyatt said. “Any acts of violence, vandalism or other violations of the law will be met with swift and immediate enforcement.”

–City News Service

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