Donnell Thompson Killed by LA County Deputy, Authorities Admit He Was Not a Suspect

Donnell Thompson Killed by LA County Deputy, Authorities Admit He Was Not a Suspect
Source: AP
Source: AP

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department admitted Tuesday that Donnell Thompson, a 27-year-old unarmed black man who was shot and killed by a SWAT team member, was not connected to a nearby carjacking with a suspect who shot at the officers. 

"We have no physical evidence that connects Mr. Thompson to the carjacked vehicle, or to any assault by gunfire on our deputies," Capt. Steve Katz said during a news conference. "This is a terribly devastating event. I think the department clearly wants to provide answers to the Thompson family."

On July 28, authorities were chasing armed suspect Robert Alexander, who stole a car in Los Angeles at gunpoint, crashed and fled into the Compton streets. Alexander was arrested later, according to authorities.

Matrice Stanley, at left in black, sister of Donnell Thompson and other members of the family.
Source: 
Nick Ut/AP

As authorities searched for Alexander throughout the residential neighborhood, they responded to a 911 call from a resident who saw Thompson lying motionless on the ground in his front yard. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Thompson fit the description authorities described: "A black man 20 to 30 years old, wearing dark pants or shorts and a basketball jersey." Thompson, who was mentally disabled, did not respond to authorities commands, until he was hit with foam bullets. 

When that happened, Thompson began charging at an armored vehicle. A SWAT deputy then shot at Thompson, killing him.

According to the LA Times, the deputy who shot and killed Thompson has been placed on desk duty while the investigation is underway.

"My little brother was innocent," said Thompson's sister Antoinette Brown, according to the Associated Press. "It hurts me to my heart to just imagine how he was we wrongfully killed that night. I just don't understand and I want answers."

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Philip Lewis

Philip Lewis is a programming editor at Mic. He was previously an editorial fellow for 'The Huffington Post'. He can be reached at plewis@mic.com

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