Cops Killed Woman Who Called 911

( – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department publicly shared body camera footage on Friday depicting an incident where a deputy fatally shot Niani Finlayson, a 27-year-old woman who had called 911 regarding an alleged domestic violence situation involving her boyfriend.

On December 4, Finlayson sought assistance at her Lancaster apartment, reporting that her boyfriend was refusing to leave and describing a domestic violence incident. As three deputies arrived, Finlayson emerged from her apartment holding a large kitchen knife, expressing her intention to stab her boyfriend for allegedly harming her 9-year-old daughter. The child, standing beside her, conveyed to deputies that the man had inflicted harm.

Deputy Ty Shelton discharged his firearm, striking Finlayson four times within about three seconds of entering the apartment. Notably, Shelton had requested a Taser from another deputy before entering, holding both a Taser and a handgun when he shot Finlayson. The available footage did not show the use of alternative weapons or deescalation tactics by the deputies before the gunfire. Finlayson collapsed, and her daughter witnessed the incident before running into the kitchen.

Following the shooting, Finlayson received first aid but was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The boyfriend was arrested for child abuse and assault on a police officer, later released pending further investigation. Finlayson’s father questioned the use of lethal force, expressing concern that a Taser wasn’t used, particularly given his daughter’s smaller size. He criticized the use of a firearm in the situation.

This tragic event was not Deputy Shelton’s first fatal shooting; he was involved in the killing of 61-year-old Michael Thomas on June 11, 2020, during a response to an alleged domestic violence call. Thomas’ death was not captured on camera, but it was reported that he had resisted law enforcement entry during an argument. Shelton had been removed from active duty during the ongoing investigation into Finlayson’s death, as per standard policy.

In response to the incident, the sheriff’s department stated that each deputy-involved shooting is thoroughly examined, considering various factors such as response, tactics, and the employee’s background. Finlayson’s family filed a claim against the sheriff’s department and Los Angeles County, seeking accountability for the deputy’s actions and compensation for the well-being of Finlayson’s daughter.