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LA Police Commission says officers violated policies when they killed a mentally ill man

Police commission says officers violated department policy in fatal shooting of mentally-ill man
Police commission says officers violated department policy in fatal shooting of mentally-ill man 02:17

The Police Commission says officers violated department policies when they shot and killed a mentally ill man 11 months ago

Nearly a year after his death, Takar Smith's family gathered in Downtown Los Angeles to demand justice for their loved one. Raischare Smith called for prosecutors to charge the officers involved in his brother's slaying.

"We need action and consequences,"  Smith said. "He was at home when this happened. He wasn't out doing any crimes."

On the second day of the year, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call from Smith's wife, claiming he violated a restraining order. When officers arrived, they found Smith, who suffered from Schizophrenia, barricading himself inside his estranged wife's small kitchen. 

"He was a father, a brother cousin, uncle, grandfather," cousin Daphine White said. "He was shot in cold blood and they could have gone on that a different way."

Officers tried to de-escalate the tense situation but Smith pulled out a large knife. When officers ordered him to drop it, they shot and killed him. 

After hearing the commission's determination, Smith's family must now wait for the Los Angeles District Attorney's office to file criminal charges against the officers. Prosecutors said they will wait for the LAPD's investigative report before filing charges. 

"Upon receipt of all investigative materials our office will determine whether or not the officers acted lawfully," prosecutors said in a statement.

Smith's family believes charges would send a strong message to law enforcement about violating department policies on lethal force. They also want to see officers better trained to handle people suffering from mental illness.

"We know they are guilty and we are going to find them guilty. Anybody that don't agree with it my brother's blood is on your hands, too," said Raischare. 

It's unclear when the LAPD will send their investigative report to the DA's office. Smith's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in July. It's still pending trial. 

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