A California family has reached out to the state’s attorney general’s office to ask for an independent investigation into the death of their loved one. The relatives suggest the family patriarch would still be alive if the Los Angeles Police Department had not been negligent when attempting to apprehend a suspect who carjacked the victim while trying to evade law enforcement.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, officers were in heavy pursuit of Joshua Reneau, 31, in Inglewood, California. While chasing the suspect, reports say he allegedly carjacked Larry Walker, a 63-year-old father, and leader at an Inglewood facility for adults with disabilities, KTLA reports.
Detectives started pursuing Reneau around 5 p.m. after spotting him in the 5900 block of 7th Avenue, just north of Inglewood.
The suspect jumped into the back seat of a Toyota Prius before that vehicle crashed near Florence and Haas avenues. Reneau jumped out of the car and continued to run on foot. Officers later apprehended the driver of the Prius and arrested him on a felony evasion charge.
Reneau then carjacked Walker’s SUV. Walker was unable to loosen himself from the seatbelt and became entangled, even as the criminal pushed him out of the car’s door and trapped him beneath the vehicle.
During the pursuit, the suspect hit several patrol cars before causing the SUV to flip over near East Florence Avenue and North Prairie Avenue, near Edward Vincent Jr. Park.
Walker’s body was dragged for miles while it was still stuck underneath his SUV, resulting in his death.
Officers and Reneau were stuck in a two-hour standoff after the crash before police were able to coax him out of the vehicle. The injured Reneau was taken to a hospital before being transferred to jail.
The carjacker was arrested and charged with Walker’s death and two shootings, including one fatality in July in the West Valley, according to the Los Angeles Times.
One woman, Tina Atkins, while picking up her children from their after-school program, she detailed what she saw, “We just saw a car coming straight at us with a dead body hanging out of the bottom. I hopped the curb with my kids in the car because I didn’t want them to hit me.”
Family and friends memorialized their loved one Friday, Oct. 21 with a balloon release. At the gathering, people talked about his generous character.
Jamien Walker, Larry’s daughter, “My dad was such a great man. He gave back to his community. He loved his family.”
The daughter also believes attention should be placed on both the suspect and the LAPD, saying while the criminal’s act was reprehensible, officers should have used better discernment and stopped the chase after it went on for too long.
She said, “I do hold the man that killed my father responsible, but the operation and the way they attempted to apprehend that man was negligent.”
Hope Davis, Walker’s sister-in-law, agreed, saying, “At some point, you should have called that chase off. You should’ve called it off.”
When asked about pressing civil charges against the law enforcement agency, the family said, outside of asking Attorney General Rob Bonta to launch a probe within his office, they are currently only thinking about healing and mending their broken hearts.
Jamien explains, “What happened to my father out here has torn my family apart.”
Walker’s wife for over 30 years, Gaynell Walker’s heart is broken the most, with her saying she misses him tremendously, saying, “Without him, just sitting in the living room is hard. Just sitting in the kitchen is hard.”
She also stated that he was beloved by everyone, adding, “The whole community is missing out.”
The community’s pain, especially those who are members of the Morning Sky fellowship where he was a social stakeholder, was visible.
Tiffany Brown, who counted herself as Walker’s friend, “This loss really hurt me because there’s a lot of people that claim to love you and care for you and be there for you, but this man really did.”
Walker was originally from Georgia and moved to California more than 40 years ago, according to NBC Los Angeles. While living in the Golden State, he dedicated his life to serving people with special needs at group homes and day programs.
Ed Walker, the victim’s son, said, “Never in a million years did I think something like this would happen to him.”
Reneau remains in the custody of the LAPD and is facing multiple charges, including murder and violating the terms of his Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS) from an earlier conviction.