The mother of a Los Angeles Police Department officer is planning to sue the city after she said in a complaint filed against the city of Los Angeles on Friday, June 25 that her son died after sustaining injuries during a training exercise meant to “simulate a mob.”
Houston Tipping, who was 32 at the time and an LAPD officer of about five years, was participating in a training exercise on May 26, during which his colleagues beat and left him a quadriplegic, Shirley Huffman, the mother of Tipping alleged in the claim. Three days later, Tipping was taken off life support after having trouble breathing on his own.
“He was supposed to be in training, but he was brutally injured instead,” Bradley Gage, the lawyer representing Huffman, said in a statement provided to Insider. “He went from being a healthy young man loving his job, protecting and serving all of us, and became a quadriplegic who could not even [breathe] on his own.”
Gage said that Tipping was the victim of “intentional acts” in the training.
“Specifically, Officer Tipping was the victim of intentional acts during a ‘training exercise’ to simulate a mob,” according to the claim. “The funeral took place on June 22, 2022, and was attended by Mayor Eric Garcetti and others. Chief Moore stated that Officer Tipping impressed his peers with a ‘willingness to go the extra mile to make the world a better place.'”
“Yet, that wasn’t enough to avoid other officers paralyzing him and eventually killing him in violation of law, and his civil rights,” the claim continues.
Gage told Insider in a phone call that Tipping suffered multiple head injuries, and that during the “mob” training he was supposed to be wearing a padded and armored “redman suit,” meant to protect all areas of the body — including the head.
“There was an injury to the left side of the head, specifically at the left parietal scalp and that had a laceration which required staples or sutures,” Gage said. “Then also on the right side of the scalp, near the ear, there was a scab from a cut with skin pulled out, and that was between the size of between a nickel and a quarter.”
The claim filed by Tipping’s mother via the family’s lawyer accuses the LAPD of wrongful death, assault and battery, and violating her son’s civil rights. The city has 45 days to accept or reject the claim, and after that point, a lawsuit can be filed.
Gage has also filed a request for information from the city’s coroner.
The LAPD said in a statement posted May 31 that Tipping was a “bike instructor engaged in a training scenario involving grappling with another officer.”
“During the scenario, Officer Tipping fell to the floor and suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury,” the statement said, adding that the department is investigating the accident. The LAPD told Insider that it would not comment on pending litigation.
The LAPD told Insider they do not comment on pending litigation.
Gage told Insider that he doesn’t expect an internal investigation to yield answers, and he expects the claim filed against the city to be denied.