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A cinematic-style image depicting a symbolic justice scale, with one side holding a sheriff's badge and the other an outline of a family, set against a blurred Los Angeles cityscape and subtle police car lights, representing the tension and division in the Twyman case.
The Twyman Case Perspectives on Law Enforcement and Accountability

Former LA Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced to 30 Days for Fatal 2019 Shooting of Ryan Twyman

In a decision echoing through Los Angeles, a former deputy’s 30-day sentence for the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man sparks deep community reflection.

By Darius Spearman (africanelements)

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Key Takeaways:

  • Former Deputy Andrew Lyons sentenced to 30 days for the 2019 shooting of Ryan Twyman.
  • Twyman was unarmed; shooting raised questions about use of force.
  • Lyons originally faced manslaughter, pled to lesser charges.
  • Sentence viewed as both a step towards and a shortfall of justice.
  • Case underscores broader issues in police-community relations.

Los Angeles, CA – Former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Lyons was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the shooting death of Ryan Twyman, an unarmed Black man, sparking diverse reactions.

In 2019, Lyons and another deputy approached Twyman in a parked car. After Twyman reversed, Lyons fired 34 shots, causing Twyman’s death. Initially facing manslaughter, Lyons pled no contest to lesser charges.

District Attorney George Gascón stated, “This verdict…is holding individuals accountable, regardless of their profession” ( However, Twyman’s family views the sentencing as insufficient. Ryan’s mother, Tommy Twyman, expressed, “We all miss him…his three boys really, really miss him. I promised him we’d fight to the end and we did” (

Lyons’ defense criticized the political motivations behind the case. They argued, “Being a first responder is an inherently dangerous job. This case was based in politics, not facts” (

Public opinion is split. Some see the conviction as a step towards justice. Others call the 30-day sentence inadequate. This case highlights ongoing issues in law enforcement practices, especially in communities of color.

About the author:

Darius Spearman is a professor of Black Studies at San Diego City College, where he has been pursuing his love of teaching since 2007. He is the author of several books, including Between The Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier Through 1890. You can visit Darius online at