Florencio Chaidez, 32
Florencio Chaidez, a 32-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by police officers Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the 14700 block of Parthenia Street in Panorama City, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s record.
The incident began about 2:45 p.m., when a 911 caller reported a man with a gun near Willis Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Police Lt. John Jenal.
Officers from the LAPD’s Mission Division were initially unable to locate the man, who was reportedly dressed in beige clothing, Jenal told The Times.
As officers patrolled Willis Avenue looking for the man, a person reported seeing a man with a gun on Parthenia Street east of Willis, and provided a description, according to an LAPD news release.
The officers, identified as Officer II Patricia Barajas and Officer II Brady Cuellar, spotted a man matching the description near Willis and Parthenia Street, according to the release.
That man, later identified as Chaidez, was carrying a can of beer, Jenal told The Times on Sept. 15. But as the officers followed behind him in their car, one of the officers allegedly spotted Chaidez holding a handgun in his right hand, according to the LAPD release.
When the officers got out of their vehicle and “tactically deployed,” Chaidez allegedly pointed a gun at one of them, according to the release, and both officers opened fire.
Los Angeles County Fire paramedics pronounced Chaidez dead at the scene at 3:27 p.m., according to coroner’s records. Investigators allegedly found a handgun next to his body, the news release said.
A large crowd formed after the shooting, and paramedics were asked to take Chaidez’s body to the coroner’s office for “crowd control issues,” a fire department spokeswoman told The Times.
Two witnesses told The Times they saw a handgun by Chaidez’s body as he was lying handcuffed on the sidewalk. One of the witnesses, Angelica Torros, shot a short video that shows what appears to be a gun and a can of beer near Chaidez’s body.
The shooting may be the first captured by the LAPD’s new body cameras. Spokesman Jenal confirmed that the two officers were both wearing the cameras, which had been distributed to their division just two weeks earlier.
Police Chief Charlie Beck has said he does not intend to release the footage from the department’s body cameras, unless required in a criminal or civil court proceeding, because of privacy concerns. The department news release about the shooting makes no mention of the cameras.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a statement the day after the shooting, saying the presence of the cameras represented a “pivotal moment” when LAPD could show transparency and build community trust. The statement called on the department to release the video from “as soon as it is practicably possible to do so without interfering with the department’s internal investigation.”
“LAPD must stop asking for the public’s trust in shooting investigations and must do its part to build it,” said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU’s Southern California chapter.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division at (213) 486-5230. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.