L.A. deputies thought cell phone was a gun, fatally shot man


By Richard Winton
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Two deputies apparently mistook a cellphone for a gun when they fatally shot an unarmed 22-year-old man in Athens, authorities said Monday.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said Woodrow Player Jr. twice pointed a "dark object" at deputies during a foot chase Friday, causing them to believe that he was armed with a handgun. The second time he pointed the object at deputies, they opened fire.

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