Identity issues abound in Skid Row shooting case

Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn

Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn

At least two Los Angeles Police Department officers have had their personal information released on the internet, possibly in retaliation for the shooting of a homeless man on Skid Row. That man, known as Africa, may have stolen someone else’s identity.

The two LAPD officers are victims of what authorities call
“doxxing”: Their private information, including their names,
addresses and details about their kids’ schools, have been posted
online. The police department will not confirm whether the
targeted officers were involved in Sunday’s shooting of a
homeless man on Skid Row, California-based radio station KCBS

Doxxing is a technique made famous by Anonymous, a hacking
collective of internet activists, during the Occupy Wall Street

READ MORE: Video shows Skid Row man grabbed for gun that
malfunctioned before being shot – LAPD

LA police officers ‒ including the LAPD chief ‒ have been doxxing
targets before. In 2012, over 100 cops belonging to the Los
Angeles County Police Canine Association had their addresses,
names and phone numbers published, CNET reported. In 2013, LAPD
Police Chief Charlie Beck’s financial information was leaked
online, according to the Los Angeles Times.

But the LAPD officers are not the only ones involved in the case
‒ either directly or indirectly ‒ whose identities may be

READ MORE: CCTV footage of LAPD gunning down
homeless man released

Police were responding to a robbery call around noon on Sunday on
LA’s Skid Row when they started scuffling with two people. Video
footage shows that, after two officers dragged one person away,
others wrestled the second person to the ground. One of the
officers is heard saying: “Drop the gun!” Approximately
five shots can then be heard.

Police identified
the man
on Tuesday as 39-year-old Charley Saturmin Robinet, a
French national, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing two
sources familiar with the investigation. They used his fingerprints to
connect him to a bank robbery in 2000 for which he was convicted.
During the heist, Robinet pistol-whipped one of the tellers. He
was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in a federal facility, but
was released in May, according to online federal prison

However, witnesses said that the man, whom they called Africa,
had recently
been released from a psychiatric facility
after spending 10
years there.

French authorities came forward Tuesday evening to deny that
Africa and Robinet were the same person, saying that Robinet is a
law-abiding citizen who is “alive and well in France,”
the LA Times reported.

READ MORE: Protests over LAPD fatally shooting mentally ill
homeless man

Africa, it seems, had stolen Robinet’s identity and used it to
acquire a French passport in the 1990s, allowing him to enter the
United States. The identity theft was discovered after the bank
robbery, when officials began the paperwork to deport the man
they believed to be Robinet, Axel Cruau, the French consul
general in Los Angeles, told NYT. French officials notified US
authorities, but did not appear to follow up on what happened
with the identity thief.

Arnaud Guillois, the press counselor at the French Embassy in
Washington, told ABC News that the homeless man killed on Skid
Row “is not French.” French officials do not know the
man’s nationality at this time, Guillois said.

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