Becoming a police officer for Houston Tipping was not something he dreamed of being – it was a reality for him as an adult.
Unfortunately for Tipping, his commitment to the force was cut short on May 29th. Tipping died three days after sustaining a fatal spinal cord injury during a training at the Los Angeles Police Department’s police academy in Elysian Park.
LAPD called this unfortunate incident an “accident,” but Tipping’s mother, and her attorney, filed that this was a wrongful death and that the LAPD is who should be legally held responsible.
“I think that he was beaten and he ended up being killed because of it,” Gage said. “Why they did that to him, I don’t know yet.”
LAPD Chief Michael Moore has said that Tipping was working as a bike instructor in a situation that involved “grappling” with another officer. The scenario took a tragic turn when Tipping fell to the floor and suffered a spinal cord injury.
However, Gage is arguing that Tipping’s injuries were more severe. He was instantly paralyzed.
“There’s no way if it was just one simple accident, the neck, two different sides of the head, the liver and also the rib area were injured, doesn’t seem possible. It had to be repeated trauma, strikes, kicks, blows, those types of things,” Gage stated.
LAPD has not clarified what kind of training it was or provided any details on what went on during it.
Gage added that it’s unclear how often LAPD conducts these types of exercises, and that another officer was allegedly injured the day before Tipping was fatally injured.
She also expressed, “It also has to make one wonder, how is the LAPD training its officers to deal with situations with protestors if their own officers become quadriplegics and die from training? What’s going to happen out on the streets?”
Tipping’s mother is asking the same questions and wants to know exactly what happened to her son that day at the police academy.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore denied Tuesday that an officer who was fatally injured during a training exercise was beaten by fellow officers or suffered any lacerations to the head, as alleged in a damages claim filed against the city by the officer’s mother.
According to the LA Times, Huffman lawyer Bradley Gage said the mother doesn’t want to comment apart from what’s in the claim. He added that the allegations are based on interviews he’s done with witnesses and others with knowledge of what occurred.
The claim from the mother is asking for unspecified financial compensation and damages from the city. It’s also calling on the city to preserve all evidence in the case, such as videos of the entire training exercise and actions taken against Officer Tipping.
“As a parent myself, I cannot imagine the pain and suffering, the grief that Officer Tipping’s mother and his entire family is going through. We also grieve his tragic death and I’m committed to ensuring that the investigation is comprehensive in understanding how this accident occurred and what added safeguards or other steps can be taken to ensure that it’s never experienced again.”
If you are mourning the loss of a loved one and believe they have suffered a wrongful death, we will passionately fight your cause and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated wrongful death attorneys.