A woman in Los Angeles is desperately looking for answers following the shooting death of her intellectually disabled brother.
Twenty-seven-year-old Donnell Thompson was shot by SWAT last month after they mistook him for a carjacker in the area.
Thompson was asleep outside in a neighbor’s front yard when police approached him. In an attempt to get him off the ground, police set off a flash-bang device and shot him with rubber bullets.
At that point, police say Thompson got off the ground and started charging towards them. One of the officers shot multiple times, striking Thompson twice in the torso, killing him.
Initial reports from the police suggest Thompson was a second suspect in the carjacking.
This week, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has come forward to announce they found “no physical evidence” between the carjacking suspect and Thompson. In fact, the actual suspect was in police custody at the time police confronted Thompson.
No weapons were found on or near Thompson after the shooting.
LASD contend that the shooting was justifiable because Thompson did not comply when asked to get off the ground and posed a threat to police when he “charged towards” them.
His sister Stanley is calling for the resignation of the deputy who shot her brother.
“I just want justice for my baby brother,” said another sister, Antoinette Brown.
Thompson is remembered by his family as Little Bo Peep for his “soft-spoken” and “gentle” manner.
Thompson’s sister Stanley told the Los Angeles Times, although he was 27, Thompson’s mental capacities matched that of a 16-year-old.
The shooting death of Thompson raises necessary questions about policing practices used for people with mental or intellectual disabilities. Perhaps a more poignant question in this case asks: is the aggressive militarized police response always the solution to resolve civilian issues?
The Thompson family and their attorney are very clear on this position: the policing tactics are just too aggressive.
“In a civilian neighborhood, they bring an urban assault vehicle,” attorney Brian Dunn told the Huffington Post.
“The BearCat, it’s like a tank. Their response to this situation was so aggressive. Their tactics were so aggressive.”
Dunn said he had filed a federal civil rights claim against Los Angeles County and was preparing to file a lawsuit.
“It hurts me to my heart to just imagine how he was we wrongfully killed that night. I just don’t understand and I want answers,” said Antoinette Brown.