(FOX 11) If you want to die, lead police on a high-speed chase, threaten
them on the phone via your own 911 call, face off with them in an aggressive
stance after the chase ends, and hold a dark object in your hands with your
arms outstretched towards the cops.
Seventeen seconds and 90 shots after 19-year-old Abdul Arian did just that on the Ventura
Freeway in April of 2012, he was dead. The questions are many. Why did
he do it?
There was no trace of drugs, and no trace of alcohol in his system. He
was apparently a beloved son and friend to many. There was no warning.
From the police side: why didn't they
realize the difference between a cell phone and a gun in the bright light of a
police helicopter? Why did they advance
on him on foot after the chase ended rather than stay behind the safety of
their ballistic doors? Why?
Those are questions that Abdul's family wanted to find out, through
the huge lawsuit they filed against Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, and the
LAPD officers there that night.
like they'll never get that chance. A
judge granted what's known as a "summary judgement" throwing the case out
before it even came to court. The judge
ruled, essentially, that any juror looking at the video, would think that he had adopted a stance that looked like he was preparing to fire a
weapon. That's reasonable. It's also reasonable, according to the
family's attorney Jeffrey Galen, who may appeal if the family OK's it and the
finances can be worked out, that he was holding the cell phone out in front
of him with both hands as you do when you are recording video.
Maybe, but it's a very bad idea that he paid for
with his life.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich called a press conference to
discuss the summary judgement, thank the cops for doing their dangerous job,
and reminding taxpayers they won't be on the hook for this one.
He did make a good point though; that cops never know what they'll
face when they put on the uniform every day -- and they often have to make split
second, life or death decisions. The
family will say "yes," but they're trained to do that, and in this case the
split second decision turned out to be the wrong one. Hindsight is 20/20.
I've covered enough cop stories to know that
their number one job, above all else, is to go home to their families at the
end of their shift. If it's a face off
between the folks in blue and a suspected bad guy, he's going down. Better him than me, and we'll sort it out