A murdered LA police officer was beaten up in a ‘mob simulation’ exercise, mother claims

A 32-year-old Los Angeles police officer who was fatally wounded in the neck during department training last month was beaten by other officers in an exercise intended to “simulate a mob,” according to a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the city by his mother.

Officer Houston Tipping sustained a spinal cord injury during a May 26 training at the Police Academy in Elysian Park and died three days later. He was buried Wednesday during a large funeral attended by Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore, other police chiefs and Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Teabing’s mother, Shirley Hoffman, attended the funeral but did not speak at it. She filed her notice of claim against the city on Friday, alleging unlawful killing, assault, battery and other civil rights violations. Such allegations often lead to lawsuits.

Hoffman claimed that her son “had been repeatedly hit in the head so severely that he was bleeding”, and that the beating had resulted in injuries requiring surgical sutures. Prosecutors said he also sustained several fractures to his neck that caused his death.

Hoffman also claimed the exercise was “already questioned” before Teabing was injured by injuries to other officers.

Capt. Kelly Muniz, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said Friday that the department could not comment on the allegation or the nature of the exercise. But she said the administration is taking the matter seriously and has launched its own investigation into the incident – in part to determine if there are “any changes that need to be made” or lessons that can be learned.

“It’s tragic and we all mourn his loss,” Muniz said of Tipping, a five-year veteran of the force.

Los Angeles police said Tipping was injured during a “collision” with an officer, and described his death as a horrific accident. But she provided few other details.

Hoffman’s claim demands unspecified monetary damages, as well as punitive damages from the city. He also called on the city to preserve all evidence in the matter, including “videos of the entire training exercise and actions taken against Officer Tipping.”

Bradley Gage, Hoffman’s attorney, said she did not wish to comment beyond what was stated in the allegation. He said the allegations were based on interviews he conducted with witnesses to the events and others familiar with them.

Gage said Teabing was hit in two parts of his head and four vertebrae.

Teabing served as a patrol officer in the Devonshire Division, which covers Northridge, Reseda, Chatsworth and other parts of the northern San Fernando Valley.

At the funeral, Moore knelt before Teabing’s parents and presented them with a folded American flag. Comments Moore made at the funeral referenced Hoffman in her claim.

“Chairman Moore stated that Officer Teabing impressed his peers with “a willingness to go the extra mile to make the world a better place,” her claim stated. “However, it was not enough to avoid other officers immobilizing him and ultimately killing him in violation of the law and his civil rights “.

The names of the other officers involved in the death were not released.

Times staff writer Matthew Ormsith contributed to this article.

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