A homeless man has been shot dead in the street by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers, sparking protests.

Video footage of Sunday's shooting, which was posted on Facebook by a witness, showed a man swinging his arms violently at police before being wrestled to the ground. 

(WARNING: Footage is disturbing)

 

As at least three officers attempted to restrain the man, they can be heard yelling, "Drop the gun!, Drop the gun!"

At least five gunshots can then be heard as officers appear to shoot the man.

Video of the incident spread quickly as it was shared on social media across the world.

LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told the Los Angeles Times that officers had attended the scene, in Los Angeles' downtown Skid Row area, in reponse to a possible robbery and had encountered the man who began fighting with officers.

The LAPD later posted several tweets describing their version of the event.

 

Smith said that officers used a Taser, but it was "ineffective".

"At some point in there, a struggle over one of the officer's weapons occurred," Smith said."At that point an officer-involved shooting happened."

As police continued to investigate the shooting, the Times reported that dozens of homeless activists gathered at nearby Pershing Square late on Sunday night to protest the shooting.

In 2011, two California police officers were captured on video beating mentally disabled homeless man Kelly Thomas to death - sparking protests and a nationwide outcry. The two officers were later acquitted after being charged over the incident.

Last year, massive protests spread from the St. Louis area across the US after a white police officer shot and killed unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown.

Source: Al Jazeera