The LAPD has opened a use-of-force investigation after an officer who responded to a street fight in Highland Park late last week hit a man in the head with a bean bag fired from a shotgun. The officer, Dan Gaglione, opened fire on a group of four men at Avenue 50 and York Boulevard Friday morning (Feb. 4) at about 2 a.m. after the group turned on officers who responded to the brawl, according to an LAPD statement released today. The three rounds of bean bags missed their intended target but hit one of the men in the group twice, once in the head. The man was taken to a hospital for treatment and was reported in stable condition. The other men involved in the fight were released from custody and face potential disturbing the peace charges, police said.
How does a bean bag shotgun work? The LAPD explains:
The Department authorized the use of a Less Lethal Impact Weapon referred to as a Bean Bag Shotgun in 2002. This Less Lethal tool uses a “sock” round that is a small fabric bag filled with shot and deployed from a special shotgun. This tool is authorized to help control or temporarily incapacitated an aggressive individual who may be fighting or where there is an immediate threat to the public or officers.
An officer attempts to aim the sock round at the belt line or navel area of an individual to minimize injuries to vital organs while attempting to impact the suspect. This tool works similarly to the side handle baton that officers carry, only it provides an officer the ability to use it from a distance.
The LAPD uses the Less Lethal Beanbag Round numerous times each year to de escalate volatile incidents resulting in minimal injury, typically a bruise. However, it is very difficult to always anticipate the movement of the suspect during unfolding events and occasionally a serious injury may result.