Homeless man was convicted for a bank robbery using another identity and was never identified by feds while serving nearly 14 years in prison.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
March 4, 2015
Los Angeles, California – Los Angeles police have yet to identify the homeless man that was shot in the head and torso by police in Skid Row during a struggle. Police involved are claiming that the victim was reaching for an officer’s weapon. The victim was known in the homeless community as “Africa,” but police say that he was using the name of Charlie Saturmin Robinete, 39, but the identity was stolen from a French citizen living in France. So far, the U.S. Marshals Service or police have not been able to identify his real name.
Africa spent nearly 14 years in a federal prison for a 2000 bank robbery and was released in May of 2014, but he failed to report to his parole agent and a warrant had been issued, according to the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).
Africa was suspected of being a French national, but the French government wouldn’t take him because the real Robinete was still living in France and didn’t know Africa had stolen his identity. Africa wasn’t deported and had to be released in the U.S.
He had been living in a sidewalk tent for at least eight months just outside of a homeless shelter located near where he was killed by police.
Police say that Africa was attempting to reach for an officer’s gun, but the L.A. police during a press conference showed pictures of an officer’s gun partially cocked, the gun magazine was dislodged, with a bullet in the chamber and another stuck in the ejection mode, indicating a struggle for the weapon had occurred, according to L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck.
Police officers who struggled and shot at Africa are shown in the video in control of their weapons, taser and the weapon in question was not immediately secured as evidence indicating possible tempering of evidence by police to cover-up a homicide.
Several officers were wearing body cameras, but it is not clear what actually happened, according to police. Africa in the struggle with four officers shows, that one officer had control of his left arm, a second who fired the first shot at Africa had his right arm and a police sergeant had his left leg and another officer who had a taser had his right leg. After Africa was fatally shot, he ended-up face down.
Without the officers body camera video showing what actually occurred, many questions remained unanswered. All the officers involved in Africa’s shooting have been placed in paid administrative duty pending the outcome of the case.
The Black officer who held Africa’s left arm was identified as a rookie and might have not had enough training on how to handle a mentally disable homeless man. Three other officers, including a police sergeant had training in dealing with a mentally disable men, but their actions to subdue Africa turned deadly.
Africa was known to some officers in Skid Row, so they knew he had a mental disability.
Homeless man shot and killed by LA Police officers: http://youtu.be/wHIFsH_3NfE