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Witness Says Slain Day Laborer Was Unarmed

The neighborhood of Westlake near downtown Los Angeles has been under lockdown as protests continue after the LAPD killing of a Guatemalan day laborer Sunday. Officers claim the man was brandishing a knife, but one witness has come forward to say he was unarmed.

The witness, Ana, fears giving her last name, or even showing her face, out of fear of police retribution.

Although it may not be out of the ordinary for the LAPD to use excessive force, the surge of resistance against officers in this largely immigrant neighborhood demonstrates a breaking point in long-standing tensions between the community and the police. –JCL

The Los Angeles Times:

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.

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