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Police Commission agrees with Chief Beck that police killing in Venice was unjustified

Chalk drawings near where an LAPD officer fatally shot Brendon Glenn, who was unarmed, on May 5, 2015.
Chalk drawings near where an LAPD officer fatally shot Brendon Glenn, who was unarmed, on May 5, 2015.
Frank Stoltze/KPCC

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Almost a year ago, an unarmed homeless man named Brendon Glenn was fatally shot by a police officer in Venice Beach, California.

The officer, Clifford Proctor, said he thought the man was reaching for his partner's gun. Footage of the incident seems to tell a different story.

That video became a key piece of evidence in a Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck's report which found the officer's actions were unjustified.

Now the Police Commission, which oversees department policy, has backed up that conclusion.

Joe Domanick, Associate Director of the Center on Media, Crime & Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says the fact that the commission agreed with Beck's conclusion in this case is not surprising.

"The Police Commission right now is a very progressive police commission and a police commission very focused on doing oversight," Domanick says. "It's right in line with what they want in terms of officer involved shootings."

What the commission wants, Domanick says, is an emphasis on de-escalation, or avoiding the use of deadly force. Its new policy on de-escalation is set to go into effect over the next month.

The next question in the case of the fatal shooting of Brendon Glenn is whether L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey will decide to file criminal charges against Proctor.

Chief Beck has made that recommendation to Lacey, but it's been 15 years since an LAPD officer faced criminal charges because of an on-duty shooting.

"[Lacey]'s pretty much in line with officers in these types of things," Domanick says, "but I think there will be a lot of pressure on her now with both the Police Commission and the Chief of Police asking for an indictment."

To hear the full interview with Joe Domanick, click the blue player above.

Correction: A previous version of this story identified Brendon Glenn using an incorrect first name. KPCC regrets the error.