Crime & Justice

LAPD defends officers who shot man during struggle

The Los Angeles Police Department is defending officers who fatally shot a naked man they say tried to take their guns, while community activists question the use of deadly force.

Paul Weber, president of the LA police union, said in a statement Saturday that the officers were "fighting for their lives" while they struggled with Reginald Doucet Jr. in Playa Vista Friday. The officers say they opened fire after the unarmed 25-year-old man repeatedly punched them and reached for their weapons.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a prominent civil rights activist, questioned why officers couldn't have used non-lethal means to subdue Doucet.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Hutchinson has called on LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to review the department's training and tactics in dealing with unarmed suspects.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.