Los Angeles police officers fatally shot and killed Carnell Snell Jr., an 18-year-old South Los Angeles native, as he ran away from them Saturday, witnesses told CBS Los Angeles. Police said they saw Snell driving a car with paper plates, and tried to stop it, thinking it was stolen. The car didn’t stop, and officers gave chase. At an intersection, two people got out of the car and ran different directions; police chased Snell to the back of his house a block away and shot him five times. Snell’s sister, Trenell, was nearby and was an earwitness to the shooting. “At the end of the day, the cops came and shot my brother,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Killed my brother.” Police claimed they found a gun they attribute to Snell, but his relatives and activists challenged that claim, and the LAPD has provided no further evidence.
Los Angeles activist and writer Tiffany Hobbs posted on Instagram that Snell had been a student of hers. “I’m afraid of the rage that stays on the tip of my tongue. I’m afraid of Carnell’s life being reduced to a hashtag,” she wrote. “His hands were up when he was shot in the back. He will always be more than what the LAPD considers as disposable.”
Snell’s mother told ABC Los Angeles that she had just left her house before getting a phone call that Carnell was shot five times right in front of it.
Later on Saturday, a CBA LA reporter tweeted that protesters had egged Mayor Eric Garcetti’s house.
This is the third fatal police interaction black men have had in Southern California in the last week, following Alfred Olango in El Cajon on Tuesday and Reginald Thomas in LA suburb Pasadena just one day before Snell.