Graphic video showing LAPD officer getting shot at a traffic stop released to raise awareness on the risky job

A graphic video released by the LAPD shows an officer getting shot during a traffic stop by a gang member

                            Graphic video showing LAPD officer getting shot at a traffic stop released to raise awareness on the risky job

The Los Angeles Police Department released a graphic video on Monday where an officer was shot at close range during a traffic stop. In the footage, the suspect, identified as 32-year-old gang member Richard Mendoza, is seen getting pulled over for a routine stop by two officers. 

Mendoza then proceeds to shoot one officer in the leg and exchanges fire with the other officer present on the scene. The reason the video clip was made public was for people to be aware of the dangers that officers face on patrol. Along with the video, public information director of the LAPD Josh Rubenstein issued a statement warning people of the graphic nature of the clip. 


"When a police officer uses force to arrest a suspect to defend against an attack, it can be graphic and difficult to watch," Josh said. The incident took place in the North Hills area of Los Angeles on July 27 around 10 pm. The officers had pulled Mendoza over after the female officer recognized the driver from before. As reported by the LA Times, the female officer approached the vehicle from the driver's side. She used to work in the force's gang unit and was aware of Mendoza's past. 

"How you doing? Haven’t seen you in a while. Still on probation?" the female officer asked as she approached the driver. The suspect reportedly told the officer that he had nine months left before he could be discharged. "OK, I am gonna have you step out of the vehicle. You don’t have anything on you, right?" the officer asked. 

The suspect then proceeded to get out of the car and shoot the officer at point blank range before firing at the male officer. The male officer returned fire before checking up on his partner. The injured officer shared how the shot in her leg was "burning" and she urged the male officer to "just get him [Mendoza]" at which point, he cuffs the suspect and assures her that "he's down". 

Mendoza was taken to hospital where he was treated for multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso, as the LAPD said in the statement. He was eventually pronounced dead. The injured officer was also treated for her injuries. LAPD Chief Michel Moore shared, "By the grace of God she is alive. Officers are fearful in these situations and the public here gets to see why. Once a person has you in that position it is very tough. You cannot stop that first one or two shots." 

The police confirmed that Mendoza did have previous convictions of possession of a firearm and narcotics by sales.