Officer Anthony Chavez was a highly respected member of the Torrance, California Police Department. In December 2018, he and his partner, Matthew Concannon, were forced to use deadly force to protect themselves.
A thorough investigation followed in which the District Attorney’s Office properly determined that the officers’ actions were reasonable and lawful.
Four years later, now-District Attorney, George Gascon, decided to make their case about politics—instead of the law and the facts—and had their case reopened so they could be indicted.
Here are the facts: The officers responded to a call of a sighting of a vehicle that had previously been stolen. They located the vehicle in the parking lot of a closed business. When they approached the car, one of the officers saw that the lone occupant of the car, later determined to be a documented member of the “T-Flats” criminal street gang, had what appeared to be a rifle between his legs.
The officer ordered the man to keep his hands up, but he moved his hands toward to firearm instead. Officers were then forced to use deadly force to protect themselves. It wasn’t until after the incident that it was discovered that the rifle was a pellet rifle that had a sawed-off stock.
This was very clearly a lawful and reasonable use of deadly force, but notwithstanding the law and the facts, George Gascon promised activists he would pursue this political prosecution against the officers.
It is our job to make sure he doesn’t succeed.