Screenshot of the police pinning down Keunang seconds before the shooting
|Date||March 1, 2015|
|Location||South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Filmed by||Bystander's cell phone camera|
|Participants||Francisco Martinez, Daniel Torres, and Chand Syed (LAPD officers)|
|Deaths||Charley Leundeu Keunang|
On December 1, 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced that no criminal charges would be filed against the officers who shot Keunang, and that they considered it an act of self-defense. Later on 10 May, 2018, the Superior Court of California ruled that an officer used an unreasonable amount of force against Keunang and the case was settled with paying his family $1.95 million by the city.
Charley Leundeu Keunang went by the names of "Africa", "Cameroon", or "Charley Saturmin Robinet" (using a stolen ID). He was ordered by police to come out of his tent in Skid Row after fighting with someone inside the tent. Someone called 911 and reported that a robbery had occurred in the area. The officers stated that Keunang became aggressive and ignored commands. After he refused the police order, they dragged him out of the tent. A physical altercation ensued with several police officers, during which three officers shot Keunang, resulting in his death. At least two videos captured the incident.
The shooting was reviewed by the district attorney's office, the Police Commission and its independent inspector general.
In February 2016, the Los Angeles Police Commission, the civilian panel that oversees the department, ruled that the shooting did not violate their policy on the use of deadly force, as Keunang had reached for an officer's weapon. The incident resulted in improvements in the training of officers as to how to better handle incidents involving people with mental health issues.
On December 1, 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced that they would not file criminal charges against the officers who shot Keunang (Francisco Martinez, Daniel Torres, and Chand Syed). Prosecutors stated that the officers acted in self-defense.
On August 5, 2015, Keunang's parents and sister had filed a lawsuit against the city and Police Chief Charlie Beck. On May 10, 2018, the federal jury of seven women and one man found that Francisco Martinez used an unreasonable amount of force against Keunang. They also found that Sgt. Chand Syed breached his duty to intervene. Lawyers for both sides agreed on a settlement in which the city would pay the man's family $1.95 million, according to Joshua Piovia-Scott, an attorney representing the family.
It was believed that the videos captured by the officers’ body cameras, which were kept secret for years, were crucial for winning this case. The footage showed officers had the opportunity to deescalate the situation but instead became more aggressive and violent to Keunang. The officers threatened, punched, tased and finally shot Keunang 5 times. It was argued that the officers' actions escalated this situation and caused it to spiral out of control.