Sentinel Exclusive: LAPD Chief Meets With Prominent Black Leaders After an Officer Involved Killing
LAPD Chief Michel Moore reiterated his promise to lo- cal leaders during the discussion on an o cer involved shoo ng that resulted in the death of Black man at a 24 Hour Fitness gym in Hollywood. (E. Messiah McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)
On October 29, two Los Angeles Police Department(LAPD)officers responded to a scene at a 24-Hour Fitness located at 6380 West Sunset Boulevard after a receiving a radio call that 30-year-old, Albert Ramon Dorsey was trespassing. During the officers attempt to escort Dorsey(whowas naked in the men’s locker room) from the property, he was uncooperative which resulted in the officers attempting to arrest him.
Soon an altercation occurred between the two officers and the suspect which led both officers to deploy their tasers. However, the tasers had no visual effect on Dorsey. According to the department, Dorsey took possession of one of the officer’s tasers, punched and broke Officer Edward Agdeppa’s nose, forced his female partner to the ground and repeatedly struck her in the face. The incident ended with Officer Agdeppa firing at Dorsey, who was later pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department.
In light of this event and in an effort to continue the promises he made when elected chief of LAPD, Michel Moore met with local Black leaders at the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper on Tuesday, December 11, to discuss the officer-involved shooting.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore reiterated his promise to local leaders during the discussion on an officer involved shooting that resulted in the death of Black man at a 24 Hour Fitness gym in Hollywood. This discussion comes shortly after Moore being elected as the new police chief. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)
Some of the leaders who attended the event included Khalid Shaw from Stop the Violence Increase the Peace Foundation, Minister Tony Muhammad, Michael Lawson from the Los Angeles Urban League, representatives from the Ward AME Church and the Community Coalition, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, former Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, radio personality Dominique DiPrima, Pastor Boyd from First AME Church, Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times executive publisher, Danny J. Bakewell Sr., Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times executive editor Danny J. Bakewell Jr., Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times managing editor, Brandon I. Brooks, as well as many other representatives from the South Los Angeles area.
Chief Moore began the roundtable discussion by presenting the facts surrounding the investigation. He then allowed local community leaders to watch the exclusive footage from the two officer’s body cameras. After viewing the critical incident video, Moore welcomed comments, concerns and feedback.
All of the leaders were in agreement that Dorsey’s actions should not have resulted in his death. During the remainder of the conversation, community leaders discussed the topic of mental health and the changes that need to be implemented in order for officers to better respond to radio calls.
During the round table discussion, Moore received feedback and responded to the concerns of prominent Black leaders. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)
The conversation then shifted to a discussion on improving the placement and installation of body cameras so that they are unable to fall off when an officer engages in a physical confrontation with a suspect.
Bakewell Sr., applauded the chief for initiating a conversation with local Black leaders:
“The chief didn’t actually have to come here and share this video with us,” he said.“I think it was a preventable incident.
“We gave a lot of input and we gave a lot of suggestions as to how we would be able to prevent something like this from happening in the future. Far too often, Black men and men of color die at the hands of LAPD in comparison to what happens to White men and other groups. It just seems as if the police show up with a different perspective.”
Pastor Boyd was in agreement with Bakewell Sr., and stated that young Black men continue to be killed by police officers.
“All too often we see this happening in Black communities,” said Boyd.“The question is here,‘why did this situation have to escalate to the point that a life is loss?’ Maybe a psychological or mental health professional could have been brought in or police officers with a much larger mass in size to the victim could have actually been brought in.”
Pastor Boyd goes on to say that he hopes“weapons will be drawn less, tasers will be used less, conversations will be used more” and officer involved encounters will be deescalated.
Lawson stated that he appreciates LAPD chief Moore taking the time to meet with him and other prominent Black leaders without a press conference and cameras.
“We had the opportunity to have an open and candid conversation with him and tell him how we feel and what need from him as the chief of police,” he said.“The key here is that a Black man died and that is the thing that we can’t walk away from and based on what I saw and heard, this is a death that could have been prevented.”
Local Black leaders call for justice and change within the LAPD department. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)
Lawson continues the interview in saying that he is concerned with the way the two police officers handled the altercation which he believes to be a“training issue” and an“authority issue.”
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division began interviewing witnesses who were present at the scene as well as collecting forensic evidence.
Chief Moore, the Board of Police Commissioners, the Office of the Inspector General, as well as representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will review the completed investigation and determine whether or not the officer Agdeppa’s use of deadly force was within reason and followed department policies and procedures.
This process could take up to one year.
“These investigations do take months in order to get done,” said Moore.
LA Sentinel Publisher Danny J.Bakewell Sr. (right) addresses the Black community’s distress regarding police related killings of Black men. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis /Sentinel)
“We end up transcribing all of the officers statements, we are gathering other witness statements, all of the visual evidence, the autopsy results, all of the forensic studies, so this report will end up coming back to my desk probably about eight or nine months from now but it will be well completed within a year.”
To view the 17-minute body camera footage, please visit www.lapdonline.org or visit their YouTube page at Los Angeles Police Department. Please note this video is not suitable for children or persons who are“troubled”by the events described in this investigation. Viewer discretion is advised.