Charges will not be filed against a Los Angeles Police Department officer who allegedly fired a handgun into the ground during a confrontation with teens outside his home in Anaheim last year, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced on Jan. 24.
Officer Kevin Ferguson, of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, still faces potential LAPD disciplinary action. Ferguson allegedly confronted four teens, including one girl, after they walked through his front yard on Feb. 21. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said the officer later told investigators that teens frequently walk through his yard on their way to and from a nearby school.
Ferguson allegedly made a derogatory remark to the girl and was confronted by a 13-year-old boy, Christian Dorscht. In a video taken by one of the teens, Ferguson argued with Dorscht and grabbed him by the collar. One of the other teens then pushed the off-duty officer, who fell, got back up and drew a handgun before firing one shot into the ground.
Anaheim Police Department officers arrested Dorscht for suspicion of making criminal threats and battery, but no charges were filed. The teen who allegedly pushed Ferguson was not arrested.
Ferguson was not arrested. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office investigated whether the off-duty officer used “an unreasonable amount of force” against the teens.
“I don’t believe there is anyone who watches this video who is OK with the way Ferguson handled himself,” Rackauckas said. “We just cannot prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt against him.”
The incident sparked protests last year in Anaheim. Dorscht’s family filed a lawsuit last March against the officer alleging Ferguson violated his civil rights. The lawsuit is pending.
The Los Angeles Police Department declined to comment about the Orange County District Attorney’s Office’s announcement. Det. Meghan Aguilar said Ferguson is still formally assigned to the Hollywood Division but has been temporarily assigned to his home with pay while the matter is investigated. Now that the criminal investigation has concluded, the LAPD’s Internal Affairs Division begins its investigation into the officer’s conduct, Aguilar said. Outcomes could range from no punishment to termination from the LAPD.
Ferguson joined the LAPD in June 2013 and after graduating from the police academy and completing other training, had approximately three years with the department when the incident in Anaheim occurred.