A story for every victim

Redel Kentel Jones, 30

Redel Kentel Jones, a 30-year-old black woman, was killed by police Wednesday, Aug. 12, in the 4100 block of Marlton Avenue in the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s office records. 

The incident began about 1:40 p.m. when Los Angeles police received a call about a pharmacy robbery in the 3700 block of Santa Rosalia Drive, LAPD  Det. Meghan Aguilar told The Times. 

Employees at the pharmacy said the robber was a woman who was carrying a large knife, Aguilar said. The woman allegedly handed a note to a cashier, demanding money, and then left the pharmacy with a cash-filled envelope. 

Officers began searching the area and found a woman matching the description about 20 minutes later in an alley near Marlton Avenue and Santo Tomas Drive, Aguilar said. 

When the officers tried to detain the woman, later identified as Jones, she was shot and killed. A Taser cartridge was found at the shooting scene, along with a large knife. Aguilar said then that it was not clear what happened or why the officers shot at Jones. 

No one else was injured during the robbery or the shooting. The officers involved were not wearing body cameras. 

An LAPD internal report on the shooting said officers were chasing Jones in the alley when  they saw her pull out a large knife, The Times reported Aug. 19. The officers allegedly ordered Jones to drop the knife, but she continued to run. 

When Jones “suddenly stopped and turned towards the officers,” the report said, one of the officers used his Taser, which didn’t seem to have any affect. Jones began to advance toward one of the officers, still armed with the knife, resulting in the shooting, according to the report. 

Money and a robbery demand note were found in her clothing, and a knife was near her body, according to the report. 

A week earlier, Courtyana Franklin, a woman who said she witnessed the shooting, reported a different version of events to The Times. Franklin said she watched the events unfold from the side view mirror of her car, and in her version, Jones was running from officers when she was shot. 

Franklin told The Times she was shaken by what she had seen. Even if the woman had robbed the pharmacy, she said, she didn’t understand why police shot her. 

LAPD investigators said they hoped to speak with Franklin to find out what she saw. 

Some residents and activists have been critical of the LAPD, questioning why it was taking so long to get information about the shooting. 

“Without public accessible information, there can’t be real accountability of police-involved shootings,” resident Liz Cirelli, 25, told the The Times. 

Jones was the 13th person killed by Los Angeles police officers so far this year, and the 25th shot by an LAPD officer.  The Los Angeles Police Commission briefly recessed its meeting for the second week in a row on Aug. 18, because of loud protesters in the audience demanding more information about police shootings. 

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