Ryan Twyman Shot by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies Caught on Camera
In releasing video of a controversial killing that sparked outrage online, Los Angeles County authorities on Thursday said a man had used his car as a “weapon,” prompting deputies to fire nearly three dozen rounds into his vehicle earlier this month.
Ryan Twyman, 24, was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Willowbrook apartment complex in a June 6, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Twyman was the father of three children.His death has garnered calls for justice as it joins a string of fatal shootings of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement.
The Sheriff’s Department has acknowledged no firearm was recovered at the scene.
The video shows deputies parking their patrol car and approaching Twyman’s white Kia sedan on foot with their guns drawn.
Twyman was in the driver’s seat and another man was in the passenger seat at the time, sheriff’s Cmdr. April Tardy says in the narrative provided throughout the video.
One of the deputies is seen opening the back passenger-side door of the white Kia before it reverses, with the car door still open, and turns in a counter-clockwise motion, apparently towards the deputy on the passenger side.
“As the Kia reversed, the passenger-side deputy was struck with the open rear passenger door and pushed into the center of the parking lot as he attempted to maintain his balance to avoid being knocked down and run over,” Tardy said in the video. “At that time, both deputies fired their service pistols at Mr. Twyman in order to stop the vehicle from injuring the passenger deputy.”
One of the deputies is then seen going to the patrol car and retrieving what the Sheriff’s Department said is a rifle, and continued firing in Twyman’s direction.
Both deputies are seen firing several times as the car moves out of view of the surveillance camera.
A different camera shows the Kia reversing in a looping motion and backing into a metal post, where the vehicle comes to rest.
Twyman was still inside the car when he died of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso, according to corner’s officials and Tardy.
About 34 shots were fired, the commander said.
The passenger was not injured in the incident, and was let go after being interviewed, the Sheriff’s Department said.
The department has previously confirmed that no weapon was found at the scene.
“In this case, the vehicle was used as a weapon against the sheriff’s deputies,” Tardy said.
The Sheriff’s Department said a thorough and in-depth investigation is being conducted of the incident. The deputies involved were reassigned to administrative duties pending the results of the investigation.
Twyman had previous convictions for carrying a concealed weapon on his person, being a felon in possession of a firearm and was on felony probation, according to sheriff’s officials.
The department’s gang investigations unit was investigating Twyman for the felony weapons charges and served a search warrant at his home back in April, when weapons were recovered, according to authorities.
Twyman wasn’t home at the time and was not arrested. Detectives had been looking for him for weeks but couldn’t find him, the department said.
The two deputies approached Twyman’s car because it matched a description provided by detectives, Tardy said.
Twyman’s family and the man who was with him during the incident filed a claim for damages against the county Wednesday.
The claim said that the two men “made no aggressive movements, furtive gestures or physical movements which would suggest to a reasonable law enforcement officer that either of them was armed with any kind of weapon.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to give financial assistance to Twyman’s family. It raised almost $9,000 as of Thursday morning.
His killing has drawn intense scrutiny and calls for justice, including from rapper The Game.
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