The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Death By LAPD

Los Angeles Police Department officers shot and killed a man in Mid-Wilshire last week, creating a controversy for Los Angeles prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys to unravel.

Daniel Carlon, a 23-year-old Latino, took a bullet from the police officers at the home of his former girlfriend on Cochran Avenue. The shooting took place after a 30-year-old Flor Medrano filed a domestic abuse report against Carlon.

When the police escorted Medrano home, they waited outside the house to investigate the scene. But Carlon had already gotten to Medrano's home before the police, and fatally stabbed her when she came in the house. After the police heard screams, they tried entering the home, but couldn't get past the metal security door. Hence, the LAPD officers fired bullets through the window, killing Carlon.

The incident is now under investigation, and many ethical questions are coming up with a situation like this. Was the killing of Carlon justified? Did the police have other options?

As we learned in the case of Tennessee v. Garner, it's okay for a police officer to use deadly physical force as a last resort type option to protect himself or other persons. But it's questionable whether the police in Mid-Wilshire gave time for Carlon to surrender and drop his weapon.

Carlon's family may now look to Los Angeles prosecutors to bring charges against the LAPD officer at fault.