Inglewood Police Chief Explains 911 Call That Led to Fatal Shooting

Inglewood officials Friday spoke for the first time in detail about the 9-1-1 call that led to the shooting death of a postal worker by a police officer early Monday morning. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Inglewood Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks' first words at a packed city hall press conference were directed at Kevin Wicks' family in the back of the room.

Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks: The Inglewood Police Department is certainly sincerely regretful for your loss. And we are extending to you our deepest sympathies.

Guzman-Lopez: An Inglewood police officer shot Wicks to death as the officers responded to a 9-1-1 domestic disturbance call.

Seabrooks released a transcript of the call. It shows the caller telling the dispatcher there's a black guy with a white t-shirt in apartment 10, fighting with a girlfriend. The dispatcher asks if the caller's sure it's apartment ten. The caller at first says she can't really tell, that she thinks it's one of the middle apartments. The dispatcher asks again if it's apartment 10. The caller says yes.

Chief Seabrooks conceded the caller's uncertainty wasn't communicated to the four officers who showed up to Wicks' apartment. She said she doesn't know why, but backs up the dispatcher's actions.

Seabrooks: It is not infrequent that people who call the police don't have all of the information, or they're not a hundred percent sure of the information. We use clarifying questions to help to pinpoint the source of the complaint.

Guzman-Lopez: Seabrooks, who's been chief in Inglewood for about a year, said officers made sure they were at the right house when they knocked on the apartment at 12:24 in the morning.

Seabrooks: They explained that they were the police. When he opened the door, he was in possession of a firearm. The officers, believing &ndash the one officer, believing that his life was in jeopardy, called out to the other officers alerting them that there was a firearm, and Mr. Wicks was shot.

Guzman-Lopez: Activists have raised a series of questions about the shooting. Among them: why the officer who shot Wicks was on the job. Less than three months ago, Officer Brian Ragan was involved the fatal shooting of an unarmed man outside a Rally's Hamburger restaurant.

After Seabrooks finished, Kevin Wicks's father spoke with reporters.

Austin Wicks said he didn't know his son had a firearm. It was a rough neighborhood, the father said, and it wouldn't surprise him if his son had a gun. Police confirmed it is a tough area. Chief Seabrooks said officers responded to a lot of calls from the Inglewood apartment complex; 173 calls in the last two years.

Austin Wicks said his son had recently moved there, and didn't like it.

Austin Wicks: Well, he didn't like the transients sleeping in front of his door. There was a lot of uncomfortable feelings he had about living there. And this is what happened.

Guzman-Lopez: Austin Wicks said he's hopeful the police department can get to the bottom of why his son is dead. The L.A. County District Attorney's office has also deployed its investigators to help answer that question.

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