Attorney: LAPD didn't have certified instructor on-site during officer's death

An attorney representing Officer Houston Tipping’s mother made claims that the department didn’t know where a defibrillator was or how to use it


By Sarah Calams

LOS ANGELES — Last month, LAPD officer Houston Tipping, 32, died from injuries he sustained during a training incident. Most recently, Tipping’s mother, Shirley Huffman, filed a wrongful-death claim against the city, saying her son suffered fatal neck injuries in the training exercise meant to “simulate a mob.” The claim alleges wrongful death and civil rights violations.

Huffman alleges Tipping was “repeatedly struck in the head severely enough that he bled,” ABC7 reported. Tipping’s death, she says, was caused by multiple breaks in his neck.

Now, an attorney representing Huffman told ABC7 that the department did not have a certified training instructor on site during the training exercise.

"The rules require that the LAPD have a certified training instructor with them at all times. As we understand it, there was no training instructor that was certified there at all," Bradley Gage, Huffman’s attorney, said in a news conference.

During the news conference, Gage also said the department was supposed to have a defibrillator on hand to restart Tipping’s heart.

"As we understand it, they did not even know where the defibrillator was, let alone how to properly implement it," Gage continued. "What that equipment does is it allows the heart to keep beating. In this case, the heart stopped because of the serious injuries that Houston suffered with. Once the heart stopped, oxygen stops going to the brain, which added to the brain damage he suffered from."

The department’s investigation is ongoing.

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