The family of a 28-year-old man killed by a police officer in Los Angeles is filing a claim with the city for wrongful death. Policemen arrived at a city park near Rosecrans Avenue and Paramount Boulevard in response to a report made by a woman who claimed her daughter saw two men carrying weapons. The men fled as soon as they arrived, and the officers pursued, locating one of them near a high school. Student witnesses who were outside at the time, stated that six shots were fired at the man as he was running alongside the tracks right behind the school. Four of the bullets hit him in the back and one in the head, killing him. The police said the man refused to follow instructions, keeping one arm behind his back. After he removed his arm in a supposedly threatening manner, one officer opened fire. Hours later, the officers showed up at his home, ordering his father to show them his belongings without explanation. According to his father, they did not even notify him that his son had been involved in an altercation with the police, and had died as a result of it. It was later revealed that the man had not been armed.
The victim’s family has been continually denied any information from the police department regarding the case, not even an autopsy report. Despite a California Supreme Court ruling that states police agencies are required to release the names of officers involved in shooting cases, the police department is not releasing the name of the officer who fired his gun. The California Public Records Act was passed in May 2014 in an effort to reverse damages caused by police secrecy in major cases involving police brutality, citing that, “vague safety concerns that apply to all officers involved in shootings are insufficient to tip the balance against disclosure of officer names,” except in extreme cases where an undercover police officer’s anonymity must be protected. The law was passed in regards to another police shooting case from 2010, when a man in Long Beach was fatally shot after police officers mistook a garden hose nozzle for a gun.
Law enforcement agencies have recently come under fire in the wake of high profile police brutality cases concerning the deaths of unarmed victims such as Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner of New York City. If your family is suffering due to the wrongful death of a loved one, the lawyers at Hodes Milman are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call (949) 640-8222 for a complimentary case evaluation.