MSNBC’s Katy Tur Suggests LAPD Had Overarmed Response to Possible Gunman

News & Politics

On Thursday afternoon, MSNBC host Katy Tur pushed for police officers to be less armed when they go into dangerous situations as she fretted that LAPD officers had too much weaponry when they responded to reports of a violent attack at a Burlington Coat Factory.

She did not mention that responding officers had reason to believe they would be fighting a gunman because some 911 calls incorrectly claimed that it was an active shooter situation. Tur introduced the segment by recalling that 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta was tragically and accidentally killed as police shot at a man attacking customers who was striking them with a bike lock.

Without mentioning that the cops had reason to believe the attacker, Daniel Lopez, had a gun, she then fretted about the number of people shot and killed this year by LAPD: “It’s been a brutal end to the year for the LAPD with five deaths over just nine days. According to the reporting, the department has killed 18 people in 2021, more than twice the number of 2020.

After bringing aboard The Guardian‘s Sam Levin as a guest, she soon worried that police officers are sometimes too well-armed:

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…the LAPD came in full tactical gear — long guns — came in like they were, you know, going to war. And we’ve seen that — the militarization of police departments across the country. Are there discussions being had about the equipment that is being used to respond to these incidents?

Levin similarly did not inform viewers that cops were expecting an armed gunman as he recalled: “So that is a very serious weapon that they’re using, and there are questions about whether that is necessary in a case where, you know, this person did not have a gun. He did not have a knife. He was holding a bike lock.”

But, on Tuesday’s show, in Tur’s absence, fill-in host Lindsey Reiser informed viewers that “Police were responding to conflicting 911 calls reporting an armed attack and a possible active shooter in a Burlington store last Thursday,” and correspondent Priscilla Thompson asserted that police initially stated that “they were responding to an assault with a deadly weapon and possible shooting.”

This anti-police bias from MSNBC from Thursday’s show was sponsored in part by Centrum. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

MSNBC’s Katy Tur Reports

December 30, 2021

2:45 p.m. Eastern

KATY TUR: And last week, the LAPD mistakenly shot a 14-year-old girl in a dressing room. Valentina Orellana-Peralta died after police opened fire on a suspect in a Burlington Coat Factory, accused of assaulting customers with a bike lock. Orellana-Peralta was trying on holiday dresses with her mother when she was struck by a stray bullet, killed. It’s been a brutal end to the year for the LAPD with five deaths over just nine days.

According to the reporting, the department has killed 18 people in 2021, more than twice the number of 2020. The author of that reporting joins me now … Los Angeles correspondent for The Guardian, Sam Levin. … Let’s talk about this reporting. The LAPD had seen a decrease in on the job deaths — now, they are seeing an increase. What’s going on with the tactics?

SAM LEVIN, THE GUARDIAN: Yeah, so we’ve seen five people killed by the Los Angeles Police Department in just nine days this month. So this has been a really devastating month for loss of life at the hands of LAPD. And we’ve seen a massive increase this year in shootings by LAPD of civilians. And so there’s a lot of concerns in L.A. right now about the tactics police are using and their ability to deescalate situations. We’ve seen multiple killings of people who were just holding knives and, you know, not actively threatening specific people, and so there are a lot of concerns about the tactics.

TUR: Let’s talk about what we saw at the Coat Factory — the Burlington Coat Factory — the video, the surveillance video of the suspect that the police were going after is very scary guy was hitting a woman with a bike lock. It was terrifying — it was extremely violent. That being said, the LAPD came in full tactical gear — long guns — came in like they were, you know, going to war.

And we’ve seen that — the militarization of police departments across the country. Are there discussions being had about the equipment that is being used to respond to these incidents? Surely, the high-powered nature of the guns they were using enabled that bullet to go farther than it would have if they were using something with a little less force. Still a gun, but maybe not that sort of force.

LEVIN: One of the terrifying things about the shooting was that the officer who came in with this assault rifle, you know, came in with it drawn, and the force of it was so powerful that the mother of Valentina said it knocked both of them over. So that is a very serious weapon that they’re using, and there are questions about whether that is necessary in a case where, you know, this person did not have a gun. He did not have a knife. He was holding a bike lock.

(…)

MSNBC’s Katy Tur Reports

December 28, 2021

2:16 p.m. Eastern

LINDSEY REISER, FILL-IN HOST: Police were responding to conflicting 911 calls reporting an armed attack and a possible active shooter in a Burlington store last Thursday.

(…)

PRISCILLA THOMPSON: Police say they were responding to an assault with a deadly weapon and possible shooting.

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