By Tami Abdollah
LOS ANGELES: A Los Angeles Police Department official said an internal investigation will be launched into an allegation that an LAPD officer delayed medical aid when he told responders that an airport security officer was dead after being shot.
Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Friday the department always investigates allegations against its officers.
Marshall McClain, president of the airport police union, claims LAPD Officer John Long told responding officers that Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez was dead as he lay in a terminal on Nov. 1 after a gunman targeted TSA officers.
It’s unclear how that determination was made or whether Long was qualified to do so. Long declined to comment.
McClain said an airport police officer later thought he detected a light pulse and wheeled Hernandez to paramedics — 33 minutes after he was shot.
The paramedics had been ordered to wait 150 yards away because police had not declared the terminal safe to enter, according to two law enforcement officials.
While it’s not known when Hernandez died or if immediate medical attention could have saved his life, officials are examining what conversations took place between police and fire commanders to determine when it was safe enough to enter and whether paramedics could have gone into the terminal earlier, one of the officials said.
The head of the TSA union on Friday said he was appalled at the news. American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. called the situation “very concerning” and said there should be a serious re-examination of TSA security policies.
Formal conclusions could take months.