Identify the "victim."
1.) You are crossing a street lawfully in crosswalk when a car speeds through, strikes you, and takes off without stopping.
2.) You are in your home sleeping when an unknown person sneaks in and steals things from you.
3.) You "had been affiliated with the East Coast Crips, had served time in prison on a drug charge and [are] on parole." You [faced] a murder charge last year and hang around Imperial Hwy in South Central LA at 9:00 pm and happen to match the "physical and clothing" description of a man threatening a woman and her child with a GUN (most likely your ex and your kid) and when the police try to detain you, you take off running. You then point a "dark object" at the deputies chasing you, who reasonably believe you are pointing a gun at them so they shoot you to eliminate the threat to their lives.
I'm sorry if you answered #1 or #2, you probably won't have much of a future having a career with the LA Times.
Now ask yourself these questions:
- If Woodrow Player Jr. (the Crips gang member shot by the deputies) was truly innocent, why was he running away from the deputies?
- Should the deputies have assumed Player was holding a cell phone? Or to put it another way, does it seem reasonable that someone in the middle of running from the cops would be using a cell phone?
- Would Player have been shot had he complied with the deputies' original directions?
There are common sense answers to each of these questions. Obviously Player would still be alive, and never have been shot if he had obeyed the deputies' commands. If he was innocent, there was no need to run. Finally, think of what a black cell phone can look like in lowlight conditions, running at full sprint, chasing someone reported to be in possession of a gun and using it to threaten people.
Finally, think about an incident that occurred the next day, but was not given as much publicity by the Times. A Palmdale deputy was shot while chasing someone into an apartment complex. The deputy had originally tried to detain the individual because he saw something concealed in his waistband. I don't know the mindset of the deputy, but its hard to imagine the public criticism of the south LA deputies did not cross his mind at some point prior to the incident in which he was shot.
Going back to Player. The Times wants to be sure its readers know that Player "had [been] trying to turn his life around, attending church and studying to get his high school diploma." My question is this, what church is happening or studying is being accomplished in a car in South LA, on Imperial Hwy, at about 9pm? My guess is not much.