(LOS ANGELES) — An attorney representing the family of a Los Angeles police officer who died after a training exercise in May alleged Wednesday that the officer was targeted and killed after filing a report accusing fellow officers of sexually assaulting a woman.
“I think it’s an intentional act because of the magnitude of injuries,” Brad Gage, the attorney for Houston Tipping’s family, told ABC News. “We know that Houston was a whistleblower who reported this alleged criminal act.”
Bicycle officer Tipping, 32, suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury after he and another officer fell to the ground during a simulation, according to a report released Tuesday by Los Angeles Police Department’s Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy, which called his death a “tragic accident.”
“The impact on the ground with the arm of the officer in that position around the backside of Officer Tipping’s neck…in that instance is where the fracture occurred,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore previously said.
Gage says they intend to file a lawsuit against the LAPD over the officer’s death.
A spokesperson for the LAPD told ABC News on Wednesday that the department does not comment on open and pending cases and that “the report that was released yesterday stands on its own.”
The Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office ruled Tipping’s death an accident.
The LAPD’s investigators said they found no evidence of wrongdoing.
According to the LAPD report, officers taking part in the training exercise are expected to be punched and kicked, which according to Gage, Tipping was subjected to during the exercise, leading to his injuries.
Gage disputed the department’s findings, claiming that Tipping was beaten in a retaliatory act for filing a report by a woman who claimed that four LAPD officers sexually assaulted her in July 2021, while wearing their uniforms.
One of the officers involved in the alleged sexual assault was at the training, according to Gage.
The autopsy report said that a cut to Tipping’s head and fractured ribs were sustained while officers tried to save his life.
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