Millions of people viewed video of the fatal police shooting March 1 of an unarmed black man known as “Africa” outside his skid row tent.

Police said the man, Cameroonian immigrant Charly Keunang, grabbed an officer’s holstered gun when they tried to take him into custody on suspicion of robbery. The shooting stoked long-simmering tensions and anger among skid row inhabitants and advocates who accuse Los Angeles police of being too quick to resort to heavy-handed, violent tactics.

Lost in the debate was a second actor in the confrontation: A thin black woman who stepped into the frame and picked up a nightstick one of the officers dropped during the fierce struggle with Keunang.

The homeless woman, Trishawn Cardessa Carey, 34, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer and resisting arrest, and could face 25 years to life in prison under California’s three-strikes sentencing law for repeat offenders.

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