Los Angeles Police Department officer Kevin Ferguson violated the department's use of force policy in a clash with a group of Anaheim teenagers last February, according to a vote of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
The five-member civilian board, which conducts a review any time an officer fires their gun, unanimously concluded Tuesday that Ferguson's conduct and his decision to fire his gun were against department policy.
Now it's up to Chief Charlie Beck to decide whether to discipline Ferguson for his actions.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas last month declined to file criminal charges against Ferguson, stating that while Ferguson's actions "endangered and terrified" the teenagers involved, there is insufficient evidence that he committed a crime.
Ferguson drew national attention last February over an incident that started when a teenage girl walked across the lawn of his Anaheim home on the way home from school. According to police, Ferguson had a recurring problem with students walking on his grass.
Ferguson, then 33 and off-duty at his home in Anaheim, confronted the girl by calling her a vulgar name, prompting her friend, 13-year-old Christian Dorscht, to intervene.
According to Ferguson, Dorscht said "if you touch me I am going to shoot you." Dorscht says he actually stated, "if you touch me I am going to sue you."
It was based on that comment that Ferguson apparently decided to detain Dorscht, who can be seen on cell phone video struggling to get away from Ferguson. At one point, Ferguson places Dorscht in a headlock and kicks in him the groin.
Eventually, other teens try to separate the two. One teen punches Ferguson and tackles him over a hedge. As the students try to separate the two, Ferguson pulls out a gun with his left hand and fires into the ground. No one was hit by the bullet.
Ferguson currently is on paid leave at his residence pending the results of a separate personnel investigation into his conduct.
John Christl, a Newport Beach-based attorney representing Ferguson, declined to comment on the Police Commission's vote.
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