Los Angeles: On May 3, 2011, at around 4 a.m., officers from LAPD Metropolitan Division, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) were conducting a tactical operation at 17200 block of Devonshire Street. During the operation, a white male who was not associated with the incident, breeched the outer perimeter security and approached officers who were engaged in the operation. The man appeared to clench an unknown object in his hand. Officers ordered the man to stop, but he refused to comply with their commands. As the man continued walking, one of the officers armed himself with a beanbag shotgun and shot the suspect, striking him multiple times. One of the rounds appeared to strike the suspect in his jaw area. Officers then took the suspect into custody and identified him as 34-year-old Gilbert Bouziane of Granada Hills.
A Los Angeles City Fire Department rescue ambulance responded and transported Bouziane to a nearby hospital where he was treated for a fracture and laceration to his left jaw area. He was arrested for resisting police officers in discharge of their duties (148 P.C.) and absentee booked at the hospital. LAPD Force Investigation Division detectives responded and are conducting an investigation into the incident. They are also investigating the charge against the suspect.
The Department authorized the use of a “less lethal impact weapon,” referred to as a beanbag shotgun, in 2002. This tool uses a "sock" round that is a small fabric bag filled with small lead pellets known as “shot” and deployed from a special shotgun.
This tool is authorized to help control or temporarily incapacitate an aggressive individual who may be fighting or threatening the public or officers.
An officer attempts to aim the sock round at the belt line or navel area of an individual to minimize injuries to vital organs while attempting to impact the suspect. This tool works similarly to the side handle baton that officers carry, only it provides an officer the ability to use it from a distance.
The LAPD uses the less lethal beanbag shotgun numerous times each year to de escalate volatile incidents resulting in minimal injury, typically a bruise. However, it is very difficult to always anticipate the movement of the suspect during unfolding events, and occasionally a serious injury may result.