Open Collective
Open Collective
Our statement on the LAPD shooting and killing a woman at a Silver Lake Blvd encampment
Published on February 24, 2023 by Kris R

Members of LA Street Care are heartbroken to learn that LAPD officers shot and killed a woman at an encampment in Rampart Village on Wednesday night. Most news coverage has regurgitated police statements without scrutiny and made varying claims about the victim, who allegedly held a non-lethal BB pellet gun. However, residents who were on the ground at the time of the shooting report that the victim was defending herself from a group of people who were harassing her prior to the police arriving and escalating the situation. 

While reactionary forces will spin this tragedy to fearmonger and advocate for increased criminalization, the truth is unhoused Angelenos are at far greater risk of experiencing violence and face constant harassment from housed neighbors, cops, and city workers. According to 2021 LAPD data, 21% of all murder victims in Los Angeles were unhoused despite only making up ~1.5% of the city’s population. One-third of LAPD use-of-force incidents target people experiencing homelessness.

While we await further details, we offer our condolences to the victim’s loved ones, and we’re on the ground, checking in with encampment residents. We condemn the continued recklessness and violence perpetrated by the LAPD, which has killed four people so far this year. This tragedy underscores the need for police accountability and is an unfortunate reminder that police do not keep us safe. As we continue our abolition work, we urge city officials to pursue alternatives to policing that will de-escalate conflict rather than inflict violence on our most vulnerable communities.