Los Angeles police shot and critically wounded a man after he flagged down officers about 6:35 p.m. at Los Feliz Boulevard and Tica Drive south of Griffith Park, Friday.
Police claim the unidentified man raised his arm, which was wrapped in a towel toward officers, before being shot by at least one of them.
Police say they thought the man had a gun, but he was unarmed.
“This person extended an arm wrapped in a towel. The officer exited the vehicle and said, ‘Drop the gun, drop the gun,'” LAPD Lt. John Jenal said.
Bystanders shot video of the officers handcuffing the man as he lay motionless, face down on the ground, with blood pouring out of a visible head injury.
“Oh my god… I see his brain,” one bystander can be heard saying.
“Holy sh*t,” another says. “Are we really watching this?”
Watch the raw footage: (warning: graphic)
It is not yet clear how many times the man was shot by officers. Officials say he was taken to a hospital where he is still listed in critical condition.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, said the man was standing on the side of the road, when he called out to the officers: “Police, police.” Smith said investigators would explore all possibilities, including whether the man needed some type of help.
The officers responsible for the shooting were assigned to the LAPD’s Security Services division – a detail that typically provides security at city facilities, Smith said.
Smith said the officers were following policy when they handcuffed the mans lifeless body.
“We always do that. [It’s] policy … to handcuff someone in a situation like that,” Smith said. “We cover everything. Our investigators leave no stone unturned. We [had no] idea about this guy’s background.”
An internal investigation into the incident has been launched.