Authorities in Los Angeles on Thursday were investigating the fatal shooting by police of an armed 14-year-old boy amid growing public concern over the use of deadly force by US law enforcement.
The shooting occurred Tuesday while police were investigating reports of vandalism in a neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles.
The teenager, who police said was armed with a gun, allegedly shot at police before officers returned fire, killing him. Police said they recovered the teen's gun at the scene.
Authorities said they suspect that the youth, identified as Jesse Romero, might have been involved in gang activity.
But the teen's mother Teresa Dominguez disputed the police account, telling local media that her son was "a good boy."
"He didn't do anything violent," Dominguez said.
The U.S. has long been witnessing numerous protests and debates surrounding race relations, police brutality, criminal justice and gun control as well as other racially charged attacks and shootings in the country. From Charleston to Orlando to Dallas, the past year has seen a torrent of slaughter motivated by hate. After the protests that took place in Ferguson, Missouri, over the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was fatally shot by a police officer in August 2014, and later in Baltimore in the wake of peaceful demonstrations over the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015, questions have been raised regarding the existence of systemic injustice and racial discrimination against black people in the U.S. The massacres have also brought a measure of common revulsion, but not a common purpose, as gun control legislation has remained elusive on Capitol Hill.