Witness says man killed by LAPD in Westlake was unarmed

Victoria Kim (Los Angeles Times)
September 10, 2010
A Westlake resident who said she witnessed the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan day laborer by a Los Angeles police officer said Thursday that she saw no knife in the man’s hands, contradicting the Police Department’s account.

“He had nothing in his hands,” said Ana, who did not give her last name and asked that her face be obscured in photos and on television because she feared being harassed by the police. “At the moment when the police were shooting, he had nothing.”

Ana said she was across the street Sunday afternoon when bicycle officers with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Division approached 37-year-old Manuel Jamines, who police said was wielding a knife and threatening people in the crowded shopping district.

Officer Frank Hernandez, a 13-year department veteran, fired two shots when Jamines came at him with the knife raised over his head, officials have said.

Jamines’ death sparked protests and violent skirmishes between demonstrators and police for three nights in the area near 6th Street and Union Avenue. Dozens of protesters have been arrested.

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