Officials Call for `Transparency' After Fatal CHP Shooting on 105 Freeway

Policeman on on a crime scene investigation

Photo: hansslegers / iStock / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An investigation continues Tuesday after a video began circulating that appears to show a California Highway Patrol officer fatally shooting a man who had been walking on the Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway in the Watts area while the agency said the man used a stun gun against the officer.

Los Angeles City Councilman Tim McOsker, state Sen. Steven Bradford and Assemblyman Mike Gipson, who all represent the Watts area, issued a joint statement Monday following the Sunday shooting. They said that, while the full details have not come out, a bystander took video of the encounter, in which the man was on the ground and the CHP officer fired multiple times, hitting the man following a scuffle.

McOsker called the video "shocking" and said the shooting must be "fully investigated expeditiously."

"The community deserves transparency on the circumstances around this incident and I will work with my state-elected counterparts to keep our community apprised of any results of the investigation," McOsker said in the joint statement.

"My prayers go out to the whole community who have been impacted by this and I join my fellow elected officials and civic leaders in asking for peace at this time."

After the elected officials issued their statement, the CHP issued a statement saying its Communications Center received multiple calls at 3:16 p.m. Sunday of a pedestrian walking against traffic on the westbound side of the freeway near Wilmington Avenue.

A South Los Angeles CHP officer arrived on scene at 3:27 p.m., and made repeated verbal attempts to persuade the pedestrian out of the traffic lanes, who ultimately refused, the statement said.

Due to the immediate danger to the motoring public, the CHP stopped all westbound traffic, the statement said.

The was identified as Jesse Dominguez, 34, by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner's office.

As the officer approached Dominguez, a struggle ensued on the freeway and Dominguez was able to access a stun gun he had in his possession, activated it and used it against the officer, according to the CHP.

"Following the pedestrian's use of the weapon against the officer, and in fear for his safety, the officer fired his service weapon, striking the pedestrian," the statement said.

Dominguez died at a hospital, according to the medical examiner.

Bradford, D-Gardena, in the statement said the shooting "appears to be an unnecessary use of deadly force," and that the community deserves answers.

He added, "If the roles were reversed, people would be immediately calling for murder charges. I call on the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice to be transparent and for the community to be calm and patient during the investigation."

Gipson, D-Carson, who noted he was a "son" of the Watts community, said in the statement that while all the facts that led to the shooting are not known, "justice should be our focal point."

Attorney General Rob Bonta on Monday announced the Department of Justice's California Police Shooting Investigation Team is investigating and will independently review the incident, in accordance with state mandates. Upon completion of the investigation, it will be turned over to DOJ's Special Prosecutions Section, Bonta's office said.

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