LA Cops Shoot Unarmed, Naked Man ... in Self-Defense

LAPD defends fatal shooting of ex college football player Reginald Doucet Jr.
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2011 2:12 PM CST

(Newser) – In the early hours of Friday morning, two LAPD officers were dealing with a naked, unarmed man. By 3:30am, former college football player Reginald Doucet Jr. had been shot. Cue uproar. The LAPD says its cops were "fighting for the lives" after Doucet reportedly attacked both officers when they tried to detain him, punching them in the face and head and trying to grab one of their guns. But critics are asking why non-lethal means couldn't have been used. "Is it always going to be a situation where you're going to use deadly force? Because if so, that's a problem," said a civil rights activist.

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The president of the police union maintains that cops have been "killed by naked people … who disarmed the officer. An officer who loses his gun to a suspect loses his life." The two officers—one who had been on the force 17 months, the other a 5-year LAPD veteran—at first tried to convince Doucet to put on boxers, and say he then tried to run; when they apprehended him, he reportedly fought back, and was shot twice. One officer sustained face and ankle injuries, the other injuries to his jaw and head, reports the LA Times. Says Doucet's former agent: "Were the police really getting whooped that bad that they needed to shoot him—twice? They can't pull out a billy club? They can't Tase him? They have to shoot him?" (Read more Reginald Doucet stories.)

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