Lawyer Says LAPD Chief’s Explanation for Officer’s Training Death Is ‘Untrue’

LOS ANGELES—The attorney representing the family of a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer who died during a training incident pushed back against the police chief’s claims that the officer didn’t sustain any head injuries and that the death was an accident.

Attorney Bradley Gage filed a damage claim against the City of Los Angeles on behalf of Shirley Huffman—mother of Houston Ryan Tipping, the LAPD officer who was critically injured during a simulated mob training on May 26 and died three days later. Gage alleges that Tipping was beaten to death by other officers in the exercise.

At a July 6 press conference in Woodland Hills, Gage said the 32-year-old Tipping suffered several blows to the head causing him to bleed, and had multiple neck fractures that led to his death.

He showed reporters several CT scans and said the officer had staples in his head due to his injuries.

“All these little items here, six of them, are staples,” he said as he pointed to the scan images. “Staples are utilized in order to close a laceration in the head.”

He said Tipping also endured spinal cord injuries, a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and liver damage.

Attorney Bradley Gage presented a CT scan image of Los Angeles Police Department officer Houston Ryan Tipping’s head injuries at a news conference on July 5, 2022. (Courtesy of Bradley Gage)
During a news conference on the training death of Los Angeles Police Department officer Houston Ryan Tipping, attorney Bradley Gage presented a CT scan image in Woodland Hills on July 5, 2022. (Courtesy of Bradley Gage)

According to LAPD Chief Michel Moore, Tipping was working as a bike instructor in a scenario that involved grappling with another officer.

During the exercise, Tipping fell to the floor and suffered a spinal cord injury. Other officers present initiated CPR until Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived, police said.

Moore said last week that Tipping “did not sustain any laceration to the head, any cut or otherwise to his head, as a result of his fall to the ground when he and another officer fell to the ground during the training exercise.

“Officer Tipping was also not struck or beaten during this training session. … He did grapple with another officer, and both fell to the ground, resulting in a catastrophic injury to his spinal cord.”

Gage said at the press conference the “explanation from the LAPD is untrue” regarding the circumstances surrounding Tipping’s death.

“When you look at all these horrific injuries, the truth is something went seriously wrong here,” he said. “I cannot fathom anything other than a severe beating.”

City News Service contributed to the report.


Jamie is a California-based reporter covering issues in Los Angeles and state policies for The Epoch Times. In her free time, she enjoys reading nonfiction and thrillers, going to the beach, studying Christian theology, and writing poetry. You can always find Jamie writing breaking news with a cup of tea in hand.

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