LAPD Officer Dies After Training Injury; Mother Files Suit Against City

By Jamie Joseph
Jamie Joseph
Jamie Joseph
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.
July 1, 2022 Updated: July 5, 2022

LOS ANGELES—The mother of a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer who died after being injured in a training exercise has filed a lawsuit, claiming that her son was beaten to death in a simulated mob attack at the department’s Elysian Park Academy.

Attorney Bradley Gage said at a June 27 press conference that he’s demanding the video of the training incident and will sue for monetary damages on behalf of Shirley Huffman—who alleged in the lawsuit a wrongful death of the 32-year-old Houston Tipping, along with other civil violations.

Gage said Tipping was reported to have severe injuries all over his body, which he said isn’t the first instance of abuse and death during training. He also said he doesn’t believe the official claim that Tipping’s death was a freak accident.

“When you’re having any kind of a grappling type of situation to tackling situation or other kinds of violent simulations, you want to protect the people involved. That means all kinds of safety gear, padding, and other protection. It’s pretty obvious that was not here,” Gage said.

Tipping died on May 29, three days after the on-duty accident. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said previously that 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.

Speaking to the city’s Police Commission this week, Moore said the department doesn’t generally comment on pending legal claims, but he felt the need to do so, given the “significant media attention” the allegations have received.

“Officer 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 during a training exercise fell to the ground,” Moore told the commission. “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.

“We also grieve in his tragic death and I’m committed to ensuring that the investigation is comprehensive in understanding how this accident occurred and what added safeguards or other steps can be taken to ensure that it’s never experienced again.”

Jamie Joseph
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.