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In LAPD Shooting of Abdul Arian, Did He Believe His Cell Phone Was a Gun?

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The circumstances of a LA police shooting of a 19-year-old Abdul Arian on the Ventura Freeway (101) are most peculiar. As Abdul runs from his Crown Victoria (which use to be a police car), he intermittently poses or takes a stance, such as he's going to shoot a firearm. We know now, it was actually a cell phone he was holding, but we know also he told a 911 operator he had a gun and wasn't afraid to use it. Why did Arian make these bizarre, untrue, and highly confrontational statements to a 911 operator?

Why did Abdul write on his Facebook page a few days ago, that he was coming from a shooting range? His uncle Hamed Arian emphasizes, when talking to news reporters, that Abdul didn't own a gun. Hamed adds, 'he didn't even own a knife.' Yet we're told, he aspired to become a police officer. An additional irony, amongst several others, is we're told he feared the police and was paranoid that he would be pulled over in traffic by the cops.

la car chase abdul arian

So why did he purchase a former police cruiser, this black Crown Victoria? We see an LA squad car run into the bulky looking car on news footage (shot from a helicopter). Then we see Abdul bolt out of the passenger side and make odd rapid running movements, followed by backtracking stutter steps (or however you'd care to describe his nervous motion), and then these very suicidal shooting stances, that led to him taking a barrage of bullets from a number of police revolvers.

The news coverage itself is a little odd and most shocking, when we consider news cameras came on the scene in real time and reporters were instantly floored by the violent outcome, where a tragic conclusion to an erratic car chase is over with in a wink of an eye. An LA Times piece, posted late yesterday afternoon in the aftermath of (what I'm calling a police shooting), says that more than 90 rounds were fired. The Ventura Freeway was closed off so that the LA department force investigation division could collect evidence and interview witnesses.

la car chase

The tremendous volume of firepower utilized in the unfortunate incident, that ran the course of no more than 15 minutes (from 9:45 - 10:00 PM, late Wednesday night), is an enigma unto itself. That is, Abdul Arian's family has asked why did the LA police use such drastic deadly force on an unarmed teenager? Why couldn't they have used lesser prevention tactics, such as taser guns or merely rubber bullets? Why use live ammunition? And another question is, just how many officers were firing? A full accounting is in order.

Bits of the unexplained 911 tape have been issued by LAPD. Of course, the public would like to see and hear the entire transcript. And then we can't help but wonder whether Abdul may have had some mental health issues as well. Why say you have a gun when you don't? Why would you want to become a policeman when you are deathly afraid of the police? An odd logic might be ascertained here. If you become what you fear, you can conquer the fear. Still, this is weird logic in anyone's book!

Another source for puzzlement is the low profile status the story has taken in the larger context of what news is currently being promulgated to the public. I suspect the arrest of George Zimmerman has a way of overshadowing a minor local feature about another LA car chase, and yet another abuse of deadly force by the LAPD. In spite of its low profile, I further suspect this story will emerge from out under its rock, once people see how crazy this is. Did Abdul think his smart phone was his gun?

VIDEO: Teen Said He Had a Gun-He Didn't - Agoura Hills, CA Patch

John Kays identifies timeless remnants from our past that will endure, or be admired by future generations. Read more stories by John Kays.

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