A homeless man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers during a struggle on Skid Row was identified Thursday under his real name. Charley Leundeu Keunang, 43, used a stolen identity for years unnoticed.
Keunang died from multiple gunshot wounds, the Los Angeles County coroner said Thursday. The coroner’s office listed him as being a transient. The coroner’s office website listed his first name as being spelled Charly.
Keunang, who is from Cameroon and was known on Skid Row as "Africa," was shot by three officers Sunday after police said he grabbed an officer’s gun during a struggle. The shooting was captured on video taken by bystanders and sparked protests.
The man shot by police was first identified as Charley Saturmin Robinet, a French national. But French officials said the man killed by police had stolen another man’s identity years before — and used that stolen identity unnoticed even as he was sentenced to prison for a 2000 bank robbery and while he was imprisoned. He was released in 2014.
Keunang, still known as Robinet, was scheduled to be deported to France in 2013, but French officials discovered he was actually a citizen of Cameroon, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. But the Cameroonian government never responded to requests from the U.S. for a travel document.
Because of federal limits on how long suspects can remain in immigration custody without being deported, he was released last May, court records show. "ICE makes every possible effort to remove all individuals with final orders of removal within a reasonable period," the agency said in a statement. "If the actual removal cannot occur within the reasonably foreseeable future, ICE must release the individual."
— Phil Helsel and Andrew Blankstein