Jeffrey Askew Shot By LAPD After Jumping Off Roof At Apartment on East 33rd Street
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (October 15, 2023) – A man identified as Jeffrey Askew was shot by Los Angeles Police Department officials after they mistook a hammer for a firearm.
Los Angeles County officials are saying that the incident took place around 12:09 p.m. on September 15. The LAPD got a report about a “Hot Prowl Burgarly” at a property on East 33rd Street.
Officers were told that four male suspects entered an apartment and subdued the occupant before taking the keys to his vehicle. When officers arrived they arrested two suspects who were taken into custody without incident.
A third suspect identified as Jeffrey Askew was spotted on the roof of the apartment. He reportedly jumped from the roof of the building onto an adjacent single story structure.
He fell from that roof and landed onto a cement walkway between the two buildings. LAPD officials approached the suspect to take him into custody.
They said that he reached into his waistband before they shot him. He was treated at the scene before being taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.
The LAPD later determined that the suspect had a hammer prior to being shot. A fourth suspect was later apprehended without incident.
Liability For Los Angeles Police Department Shootings
Far too many people are killed or seriously injured each year in the United States. According to Statista, “the trend of fatal police shootings in the United States seems to only be increasing, with a total 680 civilians having been shot, 92 of whom were Black, as of October 3, 2023. In 2022, there were 1,097 fatal police shootings. Additionally, the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans was much higher than that for any other ethnicity, standing at 5.7 fatal shootings per million of the population per year between 2015 and October 2023.” There are many measures that police departments should take in order to reduce the frequency of police shootings.
- Police officers should be trained to de-escalate encounters with suspects.
- Police officers should be required to wear body cameras when they are interacting with the public.
- Police officers should typically wait for backup in high-risk situations.
- Police officers should have less-lethal options such as tasers.
A police officer’s ability to use lethal force is one of the most consequential powers that they hold. This power must only be used as a measure of last resort. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983, every person who, under the color of any statute, law or ordinance, causes a citizen of the United States to be deprived of their rights secured by the constitution, shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law. If a police officer needlessly shoots and injures a suspect, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many situations where a police officer should typically not shoot a suspect.
- Police officers should typically not shoot suspects attempting to flee.
- Police officers should not shoot suspects who do not pose an immediate danger to anyone.
- Police officers should not shoot suspects that are already restrained or subdued.
It can be difficult to know what to do after any police shooting. Victims are often left with high medical bills and serious injuries. However, it is important for victims to understand that they do have rights. While police officers are given a great deal of discretion in how they perform their job duties, they are not permitted to use excessive force. Any person that is injured due to the excessive force of police officers may be able to seek some measure of justice through a constitutional claim.
Investigating Los Angeles Police Department Shootings
We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our best wishes to Jeffrey Askew as he continues to recover. It is our sincere hope that there is a thorough investigation into what happened. There are still so many questions that need to be answered.
Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a Los Angeles Police Department shooting? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that victims of police brutality get the support and justice that they are entitled to. In fact, we focus entirely on helping people who have been harmed by the wrongful actions of law enforcement. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.