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BWC footage released in fatal OIS of man charging officers with plastic fork

Officers at the scene said they believed the man was holding a knife or screwdriver; an officer shot the man when he continued to approach officers after being hit with less lethal weapons

By Joanna Putman

LOS ANGELES — The LAPD has released body camera footage of a fatal officer-involved shooting of a man who charged at officers holding what turned out to be a plastic fork, KABC reported.

The Feb. 3 incident began when officers responded to a report of a man who was threatening people at a business, according to the report. Body worn camera footage of the ensuing confrontation shows Jason Maccani, 36, initially complying with officers’ instructions.

Video shows Maccani emerge from a doorway with his hands raised. He then started to approach officers and was instructed to stay back.

Maccani then pulled an object from his jacket pocket and held it as if it were a knife, continuing to approach officers in a threatening manner. Officers at the scene described the object as a knife or a screwdriver, according to the report.

As Maccani continued to advance, officers shot him with foam pellets and bean bag rounds, which appeared to have no effect. An officer then fired several shots, hitting him. Maccani died after being transported to a hospital, according to the report.

Investigation after the shooting revealed that the object Maccani was holding was a white plastic fork, according to the report.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore stated he was “concerned with the officer’s decision to use deadly force,” according to a NBC Los Angeles report. Moore also said he believed the 911 caller, who initially reported Maccani’s harassment of people in a business with a “stick or pole,” intentionally exaggerated the incident to get officers to respond faster.

Tommy Tunson, a former police chief who now teaches criminal justice at Bakersfield College, stressed the difficulty of responding to the situation given the little time officers had to evaluate.

“There really is milliseconds for you to respond and you want to respond the right way, so that you and others in the area are all safe,” Tunson told KABC.