- Nicholas Robertson, 28, father-of-three, named as man shot by cops in LA
- Video shows Robertson walking away from officers before the open fire
- He falls to the floor but officers keep firing as more than 30 shots are heard
- Robertson was armed and had allegedly been firing shots into the air
- Officers say he aimed weapon at them before they decided to shoot him
- Family members and other activists staged protests in Lynwood last night
Two Los Angeles police officers have been filmed shooting an armed father-of-three to death as he first appeared to walk and then crawl away from them.
The man, named by relatives as 28-year-old Nicholas Robertson, was reported to be walking the streets of Lynwood yesterday morning while firing shots into the air before police were called.
Officers said they found Robertson at a gas station beside a busy road at around 11am and repeatedly asked him to drop his weapon, and when he didn’t they opened fire.
Cell phone footage shot from a restaurant across the street shows officers firing around a dozen round at the man as he falls to the floor, and then continue shooting as he attempts to crawl away.
The video footage, which starts seconds before the officers open fire, does not appear to show the main aiming at officers, but rather shows cops following him as he walks away from them.
Lieutenant Eddie Hernandez told KABC-TV that his department is aware of the video and that it is being looked at, and appealed for anyone else with footage to come forward.
He said: ‘The video is just one piece of evidence that’s going to be examined as part of a comprehensive, protracted, long investigation and that’ll be analyzed against the physical evidence, the witness statements and the deputies’ statements.’
According to KTLA, more than 30 shots can be heard being fired at Robertson if the footage is slowed down. It is not known if more shots were fired before or after filming started.
Within hours of the shooting protesters gathered at the scene of the shooting and began chanting ‘no justice, no peace’ at officers.
At one point, the crowd tore away ‘caution’ tape and deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had to hold it up.
Speaking to the LA Times, one of Roberston’s in-laws, Tracy Brown, 47, of Lynwood, said: ‘They shot him. They shot him; as he crawled, they continued to shoot him.’
Nekeisha Robertson, described by relatives as the suspect’s wife, sobbed uncontrollably as Brown, shouted to police: ‘He ain’t getting away with it!’
Brown said Robertson graduated from Lynwood High School and took good care of his three children, adding that the family didn’t know anything about Robertson carrying a gun.
Seth Stoughton, a criminal law professor at the University of South Carolina, said there are circumstances in which officers could shoot a man walking away from them, and the fact that Robertson was armed will play in their favor.
He said: ‘If the deputies reasonably believe the suspect with a firearm presents a danger by walking toward a gas station with vehicles and bystanders, they would be justified in using deadly force.
‘It does not strike me as egregious like [the] Walter Scott video here in South Carolina. If the suspect wasn’t armed or they didn’t have a solid basis for that belief, that would more problematic.’