In pursuit of a dangerous black male killer, Los Angeles Police Department officers mistook two Latina woman for the suspect and fired one hundred shots.
Then, Torrance Officer Brian McGee thought he saw the suspect’s vehicle and rammed into it at full speed, nearly killing the innocent driver, David Perdue, a white man. McGee also fired three shots at Perdue.
But L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has decided not to press charges against McGee, since his error was “a reasonable mistake.”
LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck attributed the misunderstandings to the “incredible tension” felt during the manhunt for ex-cop and cop killer Christopher Dorner.
But Perdue’s lawyer said that explanation should not acquit negligent police who cause serious injury to innocent people.
“Being anxious and afraid does not justify attempting to execute a man on his way to go surfing,” said Perdue’s lawyer, Robert Sheahen, in a statement, according to The Daily Dreeze.
According to multiple sources, the fact that Dorner had made death threats against law enforcement officer contributed to the heightened state of alarm on the part of Torrance police and LAPD.
McGee made several unbelievable mistakes when he assumed that Perdue’s vehicle was actually Dorner’s. For one thing, the color of the vehicle didn’t match.
Still, McGee decided to ram Perdue’s truck–leaving him with serious injuries that prevent him from working.
Perdue was on his way to go surfing at the time.
Dorner took his own life during the manhunt.
The Washington Post’s Radley Balko wrote that the DA’s decisions not to punish any officers involved in the two fiascos sends the wrong message.
“The lesson from the DA’s decisions in Los Angeles—as well as the failure to administer any significant professional punishment—is that when a cop goes down, we suspend the Bill of Rights until the killer is apprehended,” he wrote.
Lacey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.