Tensions Run High After Police Shoot Teen in L.A.

Carnell Snell

About 100 protesters took to the streets of South Central Los Angles Saturday evening after police fatally shot a teen.

According to the Los Angeles Times, LAPD officers spotted a car with paper plates around 1:40 p.m. on Saturday and thought it might be stolen. When they attempted to pull the car over, the driver refused to stop, causing police to pursue the vehicle.

During the chase, a passenger exited the car and police followed him on foot. The man, identified as 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr., ran toward the back of a house on 107th and Western Avenue where he was shot by police.

Though police claim to have recovered a weapon at the scene, they haven’t said what type of weapon it was, or what led to the shooting.

The teen was reportedly shot near his home. His younger sister, Trenell Snell, told L.A. Times reporter Kate Mather she saw police running after her brother shortly before hearing gunshots.

“At the end of the day, the cops came and shot my brother,” Trenell said.

Snell’s mother, along with several residents, gathered near the scene the shooting.

“Please, can I see my son?” she said, in tears to officers. “I want to see my son.”

Snell said she’d just seen her son shortly before he was killed.

“He was just at my house, and we got a phone call that said the police shot him five times in the back,” she said.

As news of the shooting spread, a crowd began to gather in the South L.A. neighborhood. Both emotions and tensions ran high, and police in riot gear were dispatched to the scene. Saturday night, protesters held a vigil and demonstration for Snell, demanding justice for the 18-year-old.

This latest shooting comes just a day after protesters took to the streets in Pasadena, a Los Angeles suburb, after 36-year-old Reginald Thomas died as a result of a “struggle” with police officers.

“They knew he was disabled, they knew he was bipolar, they knew he was on social security, and they still killed him,” Shanie Lindsey, Thomas’ girlfriend, said. “They busted through the door and they wrestled him down to the ground, they started kicking him and beating him with the stick, and then they start tying him up.”

She added, “And that was it, and they told us to get out.”