The family of an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department who died during a training accident will share new information to shed light on the death of 32-year-old Officer Houston Tipping.
The family, along with their attorneys, are hosting a press conference in Woodland Hills to contradict statements made by the LAPD chief during a police commission meeting, which they say were “not accurate.”
Tipping’s mother says she is taking legal action to find out more about what happened in the training accident that killed her son.
Tipping suffered severe, and eventually fatal, physical injuries in what was suposed to be a simulated crowd control scenario.
The attorney representing his family says he was the second officer injured during the training class held in May. According to Attorney Brad Gage, the injuries were so catastrophic that he believes Tipping may have been deliberately attacked.
“It looks like their son was intentionally harmed,” Gage said on June 27. “And the fact that the department isn’t giving answers.”
He adds that Tipping, a young and physically fit LAPD officer, suffered two major head injuries, three spinal fractures, liver damage and a broken rib during the crowd control training exercise at the LAPD academy in Elysian Park.
“When you look at all these different injuries, one has to wonder what happened.”
The injuries sustained on May 26 instantly paralyzed Tipping, who died three days later at a hospital. He had been part of the LAPD for about five years when he died.
He was, according to the LAPD, grappling with another officer when he was hurt. He then fell and suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury.
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But Gage said the exercise was not held in a typical gym with padding on the floor, and he adds that a second officer was injured earlier during the same exercise.
The LAPD declined to comment when NBC4 asked about the mother’s allegations on June 27. But on June 28, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the lawyer’s statement wasn’t accurate.
“Officer Tipping did not sustain any laceration to the head, any cut or otherwise to his head, as a result of his fall to a ground — when he and another officer, during a training exercise, fell to the ground,” Moore said in that day’s Police Commission meeting. “Officer Tipping was also not struck or beaten during this training session.”
Those statements are the ones contested by Tipping’s family and their attorneys in Tuesday’s press conference.
“We will present evidence that not only did Officer Tipping sustain a laceration and a cut to his head, but he required staples to close the wound,” the attorneys said in a statement about the press conference.