Donnell Thompson is the third unarmed man in two weeks to be involved in a police shooting.
Thompson was shot and killed by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on July 28th as they were pursuing a carjacker. When the carjacker fled on foot and ran into a neighborhood, the police lost sight of him. As they were searching for the carjacker, a call came in reporting a man lying in someone’s yard. Authorities said they assumed the man was their carjacking suspect and attempted to use low lethal weapons like flash bang explosives to subdue him, but he was unresponsive. Only after they hit him with foam bullets, did he get up and “charge” at one of the armored vehicles while reaching in his waistband. He was then shot twice in the chest.
According to The Washington Post, fifteen miles away, the real carjacker, Robert Alexander, was discovered in the house to which he had ran. However, it has taken almost two weeks for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department to issue a statement saying that Thompson was not the second carjacker and had no affiliation to the crime.
In fact, Thompson had no criminal record at all. His family nicknamed him Little Bo Peep because he was so quiet and soft spoken. According to the LA Times, his sister said, “His age was 27, but mentally … he was probably 16,” and believes the reason why Thompson did not listen to commands was because he was too afraid.
The family’s attorney, Brian Dunn, questioned why an assault vehicle was brought into a civilian neighborhood.