LAPD Shoots Unarmed Homeless Man over Noise Complaint from Neighbor
On August 14, Ethan Buckner and his girlfriend, Heather Kryczka, were prepping their dinner when they heard three gunshots outside their apartment.
The Buckners went outside to see what was going on, only to discover Los Angeles police had shot a homeless man in their driveway.
LAPD said they were responding to a noise complaint from a neighbor when they confronted John Penny, a homeless man who had permission from the property owner to live in the driveway.
Police said Penny was "armed with a bottle" when they first confronted him but the Buckners say they are stretching the truth.
"John didn't have a weapon, he just had a Coke bottle. And police shot him anyway," Ethan Buckner posted on Facebook Thursday.
The landlord of the property, a man identified only as Jack, who was present the whole time, tried to deescalate the situation by telling them Penny was harmless but the cops ordered him back inside.
Sounds of the sirens spooked Penny who began panicking about going to jail, according to the Facebook post.
According to Buckner:
"In moments like these, police may try to deescalate, but their very presence (essentially soldiers with guns) is often an escalation by itself. That is exactly what happened tonight. John Penny was triggered by the sirens. Police didn't need to be there in the first place. When they arrived, they could have used other means to subdue him, but used live fire. This is why we need other ways to keep our communities safe, to protect folks who are suffering, to support people struggling with addiction and mental illness."
According to Buckner, Jack told him Penny only had a Coca-Cola bottle, but according to the Los Angeles Police Departments press release, it states that Penny picked up a three-foot wooden plank which made them further fear for their lives.
"Penny refused to drop the bottle and approached officers. The officers deployed a taser, however it appears the darts did not strike Penny. Penny then armed himself with a three-foot-long wooden plank and again approached the officers, which resulted in an Officer-Involved- Shooting."
Penny is recovering from non-life threatening gunshot wounds and is in stable condition while in jail.
Buckner is working on getting Penny released so he can assist the homeless man in getting the proper medical care and justice he deserves.
In a Facebook message interview, Photography is Not a Crime spoke with Buckner and he believes Penny is charged with felony resisting arrest and assault with a deadly weapon and believes he is being held on $125,000 bail.
The police press release does not specify what Penny was charged with but they will probably accuse him of some type of assault against police officers.