Mother files wrongful death lawsuit, says LAPD son ‘beaten to death by colleagues’ in mob attack training

Just two days after Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Houston Tipping, 32, was laid to rest, the department was slapped with a wrongful death lawsuit from his mother, who claims her son was “beaten to death” in a training exercise that was meant to “simulate a mob attack.”

Shirley Huffman alleges in her complaint that Tipping, a five-year veteran of the force, was “repeatedly struck in the head severely enough that he bled,” leading to multiple breaks in his neck and a “catastrophic spinal injury.” Additionally, says the suit, the officer required stitches for multiple injuries.

According to the LAPD, Tipping was “grappling” with another officer when he sustained his injuries. The death, the department said, was a “horrible accident.”

“No one has been arrested or charged over his death,” the Daily Mail reports.

Tipping was laid to rest last Wednesday. LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and LAPD leaders attended the funeral.

Huffman filed her complaint against the city on Friday, claiming the training exercise “had already been questioned” prior to her son’s death due to injuries other officers sustained. In it, the grieving mother alleges assault and battery and civil rights violations in addition to wrongful death.

Tipping fell to the ground on May 26 during the exercise at the department’s Elysian Park Academy according to LAPD officials.

Fellow officers immediately began CPR while the Los Angeles Fire Department was called. He was transported to the USC Medical Center.

Three days later, Officer Tipping was dead.

(VIDEO: via You Tube)

At the funeral, Chief Moore said Tipping was impressive to his peers and had a “willingness to go the extra mile to make the world a better place.”

In her lawsuit, Huffman referenced Moore’s praise and said it “wasn’t enough to avoid other officers paralyzing him and eventually killing him in violation of law and his civil rights.”

Tipping “loved serving as a police officer,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League said. He will be remembered “for how he loved and made people laugh.”

And because he was an organ donor, said Moore, Tipping was able to help “save other lives,” even in death.

Following the court filing, LAPD spokeswoman Capt. Kelly Muniz assured the Los Angeles Times that, while the department was unable to comment on the nature of the training exercise or Huffman’s claims, the department has launched its own investigation into the incident with the aim — at least in part — of learning if any lessons can be learned and if “there are any changes that need to be made.”

“It is tragic and we’re all saddened by his loss,” Muniz said.

Huffman’s attorney, Bradley Gage, said he conducted interviews with witnesses to the incident as well as with others “with knowledge” of it, and the allegations in Huffman’s lawsuit stemmed from those discussions. Beyond what is present in the lawsuit, he added, Huffman does not wish to comment.

“Huffman’s claim calls for unspecified financial compensation, as well as punitive damages from the city,” the Times reports. “It also called for the city to preserve all evidence in the matter, including videos of the entire training exercise and actions taken against Officer Tipping.”

Tipping patrolled the Devonshire division including Northridge, Reseda, Chatsworth, and other parts of the north San Fernando Valley. He is survived by his parents, his stepfather, two siblings, and his girlfriend.


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