A Los Angeles cop who died in what the department said was a training accident was actually killed for being a possible whistleblower — and was about to reveal information about a gang rape by police, his family claims.
Houston Tipping, 32, died three days after an on-duty incident at the department’s Elysian Park Academy on May 26. His death has been ruled an accident.
The five-year veteran was acting as a bike instructor in a scenario that involved grappling with another officer, LAPD said in a statement after his death.
Tipping’s mother, Shirley Huffman, has filed a claim alleging wrongful death and civil rights violations, saying he was “repeatedly struck in the head severely enough that he bled,” and that he suffered multiple breaks in his neck, causing his death.
On Monday, an attorney for Tipping’s family said the cop was targeted because he was investigating a gang rape by four other officers — at least one of whom who was at the deadly training session — and was about to reveal damning information, KTLA reported.
“I’m certainly alleging that at least one officer engaged in an abuse of force in order to try and scare or harm Officer Tipping in order to prevent him from investigating a claim of rape,” attorney Bradley Gage told reporters, Fox News reported.
Tipping had reportedly taken the incident report of the alleged sexual assault from July 2021.
“The female victim claimed that she was raped by four different people — all LAPD officers,” Gage said at a press conference, adding that the identity of one of the cops appears to “correlate with one of the officers that was at the bicycle training.”
The attorney described Tipping’s death as a “murder.”
Police officials have said that at some point during the exercise, “Officer Tipping fell to the floor and suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury.” Medical records show that the cop was “possibly dropped” on his head, Fox News reported.
“Officer Tipping did not sustain any laceration to the head” and “was also not struck or beaten during this training session,” Police Chief Michel Moore told the LAPD Board of Police Commissioners in June, according to the news outlet.
“He did grapple with another officer, and both fell to the ground, resulting in a catastrophic injury to his spinal cord,” he added.
Huffman said her son died during training that simulated “a mob” attack, adding that his death was the result of “intentional acts.”
Tipping became paralyzed after suffering three broken ribs, a lacerated liver, head injuries and a broken neck, Gage said Monday.
“He had subdural hematomas at three places on the left side and three places on the right side. There is no way that grappling would have caused those injuries the way the LAPD portrayed it,” he said, according to Fox News.
The LAPD said officers administered CPR to Tipping before he was taken to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, where he died.
Gage also questioned why there is no video recording from the day Tipping died.
“LAPD claims there was no video taken this day. We don’t believe that’s accurate,” he said, CBS News reported.
The Post has reached out to the LAPD for comment.
The department has declined to comment on Huffman’s claim. It was internally investigating the incident to see if “there are any changes that need to be made,” spokesman Capt. Kelly Muniz said in June.
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