Los Angeles police officer's training death ruled accidental

A Los Angeles police officer died from injuries he received in a training accident but wasn’t beaten by fellow officers as his mother alleges, according to the autopsy report.

Houston Tipping, 32, suffered a spinal cord injury after he fell down while holding another officer in a “bear hug” while acting as instructor during a May 26 exercise at the Police Academy, according to the June 8 report from the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner’s department.

According to witness statements and records cited in the report, Tipping was engaging in a “face-to-face bear hug” with a student during the training exercise when both fell. Tipping was “brought down on his head,” fell onto a hard mat “with not a lot of padding” and the other student may have landed on top of him.

Tipping fractured his neck, according to the report. He died three days later after developing a brain injury due to cell death from lack of oxygen.

The death was ruled an accident caused by “”rain death secondary to anoxic brain injury.”

In a wrongful death claim filed against the city, Tipping’s mother, Shirley Huffman, has alleged that her son was beaten in the head by other officers in an exercise meant to “simulate a mob.”

LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore has denied that claim.

The coroner’s report said Tipping did have other injuries but they were caused by efforts to save his life. They included a cut on his scalp from a clamp used during surgery and fractured ribs that appeared related to efforts to resuscitate him.

Brad Gage, an attorney for the Tipping family, told KCBS-TV this week that he will seek the release of additional information surrounding Tipping’s death and then plans to sue.

An email from The Associated Press to Gage seeking comment Wednesday wasn’t immediately returned.


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.