LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. authorities had tried to deport the homeless man shot dead by police in Los Angeles this week but had to release him after authorities in his native Cameroon failed to provide a travel document, an immigration official said.
The man was ultimately released from custody based on a U.S. Supreme Court order limiting the amount of time a person ordered removed can be held, Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said in a statement on Wednesday.
The identity of the man remains a mystery after French authorities said he stole the name of a Frenchman, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles authorities have yet to release the name of the man, whom officers shot to death in a videotaped encounter on Sunday. According to police, he had grabbed for an officer's holstered gun during a scuffle as they tried to arrest him as a suspect in a reported robbery.
The man, who was convicted in 2000 of armed bank robbery and other charges, was ordered removed in 2013 while he was held in federal prison, Kice said.
Immigration officials initially sought a travel document from French consular officials because the man claimed French citizenship, but French officials informed them that he actually was a Cameroon national, Kice said.
"Subsequently, ICE contacted consular representatives for Cameroon," she said, "but Cameroonian authorities repeatedly failed to respond to requests for a travel document."
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Von Ahn)