**The following information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department’s understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Force Investigation Division is investigating a Categorical Use Of Force (CUOF) that occurred in Rampart Division.
On January 27, 2020, around 9:50 a.m., uniformed Rampart Area officers were driving in the area of 6th Street and Bonnie Brae Street when they were flagged down by the victim of a robbery. The victim told the officers that he had been robbed and directed the officers to the suspect.
The officers approached the suspect and attempted to detain him, but he refused to comply. The officers applied firm grips to the suspect’s wrists to handcuff him; however, they were unsuccessful. The officers took the suspect down to the ground landing face up. Body Worn Video (BWV) captured the right knee of one officer that appeared to be against the left side of the suspect’s neck. As that officer removed his knee, an additional officer is captured placing his right forearm against the suspect’s neck. The suspect was taken into custody upon the arrival of back-up officers.
The suspect, later identified as Destine Wallace, was transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), where he received medical treatment for a scratch to his nose and abrasions to his arm. Wallace was medically cleared and booked for robbery.
This incident was initially investigated as a Level l1 Non-CUOF by Rampart Area. During the review process, Critical Incident Review Division (CIRD) advised the Rampart Area Training Coordinator to contact Force Investigation Division (FID) due to the force applied to the suspect’s neck.
On May 28, 2020, Rampart Area personnel contacted FID for advice. FID reviewed the relevant BWV and reports and consulted with Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigators; OIG investigators concurred that this case should be investigated as a CUOF. FID assumed investigative responsibility for the case and notified the Rampart Patrol Commanding Officer of the change in the case status.
The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners and the Office of the Inspector General to determine the thoroughness and accuracy of the investigation and whether the use of deadly force complied with LAPD’s policies and procedures. Additionally, representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who responded to the scene will review the subsequent FID investigation; evidence collected and witness statements to determine if the force used by the officers(s) was reasonable.