Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has concluded that the officer who shot 13-year-old Devin Brown last year acted appropriately, the Los Angeles Times reports. The decision that sets up a potential high-profile conflict with the civilian police commission, which plans to debate the case today. Bratton found that the shooting was a tragic but proper use of force by an officer who was protecting his life. The commission will have the final word on whether the shooting by officer Steve Garcia complied with department rules.
Commission President John Mack, who was sharply critical of the shooting before he took office, has said that the Brown shooting was the most important the panel has considered in years. Brown was shot and killed last Feb. 6 after leading officers on a brief car chase. In an opinion piece for The Times before he took over as head of the commission, Mack wrote that “the reality in this city is that too often police officers stereotype black youths as gang members and too often they cross the line in going after those they see as the ‘bad guy.’