A Calculated Risk: LAPD Officers Used a Cruiser to End a Dangerous Standoff


Bodycam Video From The Arrest of Jonathan Mitrani

On February 8, 2023, at around 5:15 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) faced a situation that would later become a subject of public scrutiny and debate. Officers from the North Hollywood Division responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting an "Assault with a Deadly Weapon" on the 5600 block of Denny Avenue. The suspect, 31-year-old Jonathan Mitrani, was not just armed with a four-inch blade but also appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and narcotics.

Police Dispatch Audio and 911 Call

As officers arrived at the scene, they immediately found Mitrani standing next to another individual on the sidewalk. Commands were issued for Mitrani to drop the knife, but he chose to ignore them. Instead, he moved toward an officer, prompting the police to deploy a TASER and a beanbag shotgun. Despite these attempts, Mitrani remained undeterred and continued to resist arrest, leading officers on a chase through the streets of North Hollywood.

In a move that would later be discussed in both law enforcement circles and among the general public, one of the officers made the decision to use his cruiser as a means of subduing Mitrani. Driving at a speed of approximately "3 to 5 miles per hour," the officer hit Mitrani, causing him to fall to the ground. But even this didn't stop him. Mitrani quickly got back up, still holding the knife, and continued to approach the officers. It was only after a physical takedown that the police were finally able to disarm and arrest him.

Mitrani was subsequently transported to a local hospital, where he was treated for "excessive vomiting," likely a result of his intoxication. He was medically cleared and booked on an open charge of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. The LAPD's Force Investigation Division began its inquiry into the incident on February 15, 2023, and the case is also set to be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Board of Police Commissioners, and the Office of the Inspector General.

Jonathan Mitrani is indeed a fortunate man. There were multiple instances during this encounter where the officers could have legally resorted to deadly force. The fact that they chose alternative, less-lethal methods to handle the situation speaks volumes about their restraint. The officer's decision to use his vehicle to bump Mitrani may have been unconventional, but it was a calculated move to bring a dangerous situation to a close with minimal harm.

Booking Image Released by LAPD for Jonathan Mitrani
Booking Image Released by LAPD for Jonathan Mitrani