Jury Awards $3.2M To Family Of Gang Member Who Died In LAPD Custody

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A civil jury has awarded $3.2 million to the family of a 31-year-old gang member who died in police custody.

The award for damages in the wrongful death lawsuit was divided among Mauricio Cornejo’s estate and his three surviving minor children. One child received $1.5 million and the other two received $400,000 each, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Cornejo collapsed in a holding cell at the Hollenbeck police station following a “knock-down, drag-out” fight with officers and a foot chase at the Ramona Gardens project in Boyle Heights.

Cornejo was a wanted parolee described by police as a known gang member.

During the trial, the Los Angeles County City Attorney’s office argued that the county coroner’s report showed Cornejo died from the physical strain of resisting officers as well as the effects of drug intoxication, including methamphetamine and cocaine, according to the Times.

Ronald O’Halloran, the chief medical examiner for Ventura County, testified for Cornejo’s family that the force used by the officers, including baton blows to Cornejo’s back and midsection, was the cause of his death. A retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s lieutenant, Roger Clark, also testified that the officers used unreasonable force and failed to promptly seek medical treatment for Cornejo, the Times reported.

The LAPD issued a statement Tuesday, saying it respectfully disagreed with the jury’s decision.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Christina39 says:

    Good, I don’t like gang members. But where does it stop. We have to weed out all the bad cops.

  2. bob t says:

    Why so much? Street gang members are worth nothing.

    1. Christina39 says:

      It’s a deterrent to police brutality. I have seen police brutality against innocent people who never committed a crime. I saw the sheriffs in Lancaster, CA beat up a a young man having a seizure. I stopped my car but they told me I better get moving. I will never forget that sight and it flashes in my mind often. Remember Kelly Thomas!!!!

      1. DJones says:

        From reading the article, which perhaps you didnt. Heres a few excerpts from it that indicate he was combative.

        Cornejo collapsed in a holding cell at the Hollenbeck police station following a “knock-down, drag-out” fight with officers and a foot chase at the Ramona Gardens project in Boyle Heights.

        During the trial, the Los Angeles County City Attorney’s office argued that the county coroner’s report showed Cornejo died from the physical strain of resisting officers as well as the effects of drug intoxication, including methamphetamine and cocaine, according to the Times.

        Obviously you were (no h in it) not there either.

      2. Christina39 says:

        To DJones. The police do not have an easy job, but it is not their job to met out life and death justice except in self defense. The courts do that. Obviously you don’t just die when you are a young man as so many young men, especially, minornities die in police custody. Their job was to get him medical help as I doubt very much he just dropped dead. I won’t mention the verdict because I don’t have much respect for juries lately. Cops are brutal even if it their job and peer pressure that make them brutal. Face the truth.

      3. Mary says:

        Though I understand that some police officers have used unnecessary force to make a subject cooperate, I don’t think this guy falls in line with that. And to draw a comparison to Kelly Thomas is actually disrespectful. Mr. Thomas had mental issues, didn’t have narcotics in his system, wasn’t a known gang member and was homeless. What was done to him goes beyond barbaric.

        The factors in Mr. Cornejo death are completely different and each one played a part in his death:
        1. Though he was 31 years old, I doubt if he was in good shape.
        2. Cocaine and Meth
        3. Physical strain of running and fighting with police officers
        4. Death by sudden strain and shock after being arrested. There are many cases of people who are arrested then later collapse and die while being detained. It is believed that almost all sudden deaths are caused by damage to the heart. There is almost no other organ that would fail so fast as to cause sudden death. Kidney failure, liver failure, those things don’t kill you suddenly.
        5. Lack of immediate medical attention.

  3. Brian says:

    what about all the victims of this gangster, do they get anything? This world is getting worse. If he had not been taking drugs and btreaking the law he would still be alive today, how is this the fault of police!

  4. Red says:

    Why are you reporting him as a gang member? Why can’t he just be reported as a man who was a victim of police brutality and was awarded accordingly? His past doesn’t diminish the severity of what was done to him, and by reporting that a “gang member” was killed by an officer basically translates to, “Well, yes, he was killed, but he was a gang member, so it’s okay, but we gave his family money anyway.” WRONG! He may have left a trail of victims behind him, but he was a victim too, regardless of how you feel about gang members. His life DID have value to his children and family – He WAS a loss, a GREAT loss to them, and they deserve to be compensated.

    1. Christina39 says:

      I agree totally with you. The police have no right to “murder”. They only have the right to kill in sefl defense for themselves or others. It is like the Kelly Thomas murder where the pigs smashed his face and head in mercilessly while he was unconscious because he was a schizophrenic looking in car windows and thought this was OK. On the tapes which I listened to you can hear the tazers going non stop and bystanders screaming. Don’t forget that when Manny Ramos who is being tried for second degree murder in the murder of Kelly Thomas was in court, his fellow “pigs” stood up and saluted him. NOW THAT IS CHILLING!

    2. tanya says:

      Because he was one. While police brutality is wrong, if someone is a gang member, is on drugs and was fleeing from a crime, that DOES make a difference to the story.

    3. Mike R. says:

      Since you want to obfuscate facts, why report it as police brutality? Why not report it as RESISTING ARREST? No compensation is deserved. I lived around that gang culture BS for over 19 years in SoCal, and honestly, I can say GOOD RIDDANCE. These types of people do nothing good for society at all, and I wish they all were eradicated from our society like the roaches they are.

    4. Bob Henning says:

      It was reported just as it should have been. If it even used the Word Man, it was bad reporting. He was a Illiterate Piece of Trash who as an adult carried on the Family Tradition of Being Useless Terrorists. He was a Filthy Stinking Terrorist and his Falmily should have recieved a Bill for their Sons Past Incarcerations.

  5. geeM says:

    This is an ugly award. He was severely combative with the police. This was poor judgement in restraint tactics and nothing more.

    1. Christina39 says:

      How do you know he was severely combative with police. WHERE YOU THERE?

      Ronald O’Halloran, the chief medical examiner for Ventura County, testified for Cornejo’s family that the force used by the officers, including baton blows to Cornejo’s back and midsection, was the cause of his death. A retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s lieutenant, Roger Clark, also testified that the officers used unreasonable force and failed to promptly seek medical treatment for Cornejo, the Times reported.

      1. Bill Ray Dupree, MC. says:

        Christina39 – Where you there? Ever try to restrain a person who is on both cocaine AND crystal meth?

        The ‘retired” lieutenant you quoted… how would he know what was ureasonable? If he was retired, then he would not have witnessed the event either.

  6. Richard B says:

    I’m all against police brutality by these narcisstic pigs but to reward families that breed these low life gang member thugs by making them millionaires is also insane

    1. Christina39 says:

      So true, It puts everyone “between a rock and a hard place”. If you keep letting law enforcement get away with murder, we are in danger as well. But you are correct, The pigs let them make an easy 3.2 mill for being a gang member. The pigs don’t have the restraint of a mad dog.

  7. b-real says:

    the three remaining low life off-springs will die too as a result of having so much cash. OD or robbery or some thing like that.

    1. Christina39 says:

      Yes be real and the offsprings of the pigs will grow to be pigs murdering some person they just don’t like and destroying evidence and the whole cycle will just go on.

  8. Had it coming says:

    Once again the thug life pays off. Blame the cops when the the gangster was loaded up on drugs and caused the whole incident to begin with. What is worse, is that a retired LA County Lt testified on the gangsters behalf. How many did he put away or beat? And now he testifies for them. very sad.

    1. Christina39 says:

      Tell me what is so sad about there being some decent cops on the force, retired or not who do the right thing. A retired LA County Lt didn’t have anything to gain, except he has a conscience.

      1. Has it coming says:

        His gain is the money he gets PAID. I bet he has a past of beating crooks too. He’s only in it for the MONEY, not the truth. And with all your negative comments about cops, you must be right up there with the gangsters. Lawful people dont have issues with the police, only those that break the law and bring it upon themselves.

        as a wise man once said…..STOP BREAKING THE LAW @$$HOLE.

      2. Christina39 says:

        To Has It Coming: Nope Just don’t like the pigs. I never even stole a jelly bean, never would. Don’t like gang members either. but then of course, they are not here because of people like me. I don’t like people who are bougth and sold by the government.

  9. Joe says:

    The jury thought that the actions of the police was worth 3.2 million to the family but the cops who killed him are not charged with any crime. Another reason why the badge is a open ticket to kill.

    1. Christina39 says:

      True, but continuing exposure of police brutality and payout of big money will slow it down. Remember law enforcement is a “gang” too.

  10. I wonder who Christina39 seeks help from when in need!!! says:

    For starters how can we overlook that the “victim” was a gangmember?!?!?!?!
    This isn’t a case of wrong place/wrong time! He was up to no good, had a bad past and the consequences were unfortunate. Why is this the taxpayers problem? Understandably his family is upset for their loss and I’m sympathetic to that however I can’t understand how they won this case!

    For all the police bashing bloggers… I really hope you never need their services!

    I have much love & respect for the honorable men in blue! They risk their lives dealing with all the crazies that none of us want to or care for.

    1. Christina39 says:

      NOT THE COPS THAT’S FOR SURE BECAUSE THEY DON’T SHOW UP ANYWAY!

  11. Mark says:

    3.2 mill— no problem just raise everybody’s taxes. problem solved.

  12. geeM says:

    iI can always expect some bleeding heart stuff or crazy BS out of Christina39 I hope there are a lot more police supporters out there than there are gang sympathizers.

    1. Christina39 says:

      CBS Los Angeles isn’t posting my comments about what I have experienced with pigs and have seen what they do. When you investigate their actions, then post to me.

  13. jd says:

    His kids should get welfare and no more (they probably already get it anyway). What is the economic value of a gang member who most likely has no reportable taxable income = zero, and that’s what his family should be awarded.

    1. Christina39 says:

      What is the economic value of MURDER! I personally never heard of someone getting off with murder because the victim wasn’t a great contributor to society. Murder by the way is illegal in case you didn’t know.

      I think instead of focusing on the “murder” you are focusing on the victim. We can’t go around murdering people we don’t like.

      1. jd says:

        “…the county coroner’s report showed Cornejo died from the physical strain of resisting officers as well as the effects of drug intoxication, including methamphetamine and cocaine” So you think the Coroner, an elected official, is somehow in collusion with the cops? Get a grip. The guy was high, fighting the cops and he heart couldn’t take it. No way that’s the fault of the cops.

      2. Christina39 says:

        To JD. I won’t comment on any jury’s decision, but it passed the DA’s office and was prosecuted, so the cops must have done something wrong. Prisoners die everyday in prison and their cases will never go to court.

        Ronald O’Halloran, the chief medical examiner for Ventura County, testified for Cornejo’s family that the force used by the officers, including baton blows to Cornejo’s back and midsection, was the cause of his death. A retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s lieutenant, Roger Clark, also testified that the officers used unreasonable force and failed to promptly seek medical treatment for Cornejo, the Times reported.

        I guess everybody just ganged up on the poor police for a gang member.

  14. Marty says:

    Now that they got all this money do his anchor babies still get welfare?

  15. jd says:

    @Christina39 – I see your point, don’t get me wrong, if cops are bad, yes they too should get punished just like everyone else, perhaps even a worse punishment because they’re supposed to be trained professionals. But Cornejo was resisting arrest. If he didn’t do that in the first place, he’d likely be alive today. We don’t really know how much of his actions (resisting and drugs) are related to his death. Resisting arrest + cops trying to restrain you/taser = bad outcome (typically).

    1. Christina39 says:

      RESISTING??????? All those big burly cops. HAND CUFF HIM AND PUT HIM IN LEG IRONS. He would have stopped resisting. Always the excesive jabs to the head or abdomen. Always the excissive tazering. No I don’t like them. Though not printable here, I have seen them in action and heard them brag. They’re beasts and I don’t fear speaking the truth. I would actually like to square off with them. On other sites I have written what I observed, where are they if I am lying????????????????????? I AM WAITING

  16. People Person says:

    Another dumb ass jury like the OJ Idiots…

  17. No pitty says:

    why are so many people defending this low life.. I grew up in the “ghetto” i didn’t sell drugs or become a gang member. If this gang member would have hurt the police officer. Should the police officer family takes the gang member To civil court. Why should the city of L.A. have to pay for this low life. Why did he have a gun. The same people would be writing differently if this low life would have killed someone. I have family that are gang members and I tell them if they getbkilled. I’m not going to feel sad. That’s the Life they decided to live.

    1. Christina39 says:

      I don’t know about you, but it is my understanding that police are to be held to higher behavior than gang members..

  18. April says:

    The city of L.A. has to pay because they employ the L.A. Police Department to protect and to serve, not to murder. There are many many good decent cops and I know very well that these streets can be mean and deadly, but you knew what the job entailed when you signed up for it. There are sociopaths out there that take this job just to seek, kill, and destroy.The are vigilantes, they don’t believe in court justice, they feel it’s their job to clean up the streets. Yes there are criminals out there that need to be arrested, taken down by force because of their combativeness, but it is clear that this was not the case and his family was compensated. So until we start doing the right thing we can’t cry foul.

    1. Christina39 says:

      Nice to read a response from a truly informed, intelligent person.

  19. truth hurts says:

    I do not sympathize with gang members. I support law enforcement and what they do. The majority of them are honorable and have a thankless job. Christina, you are not informed or educated. To categorize police officers as pigs and to say the police do not show up when called indicates you not only are disrespectful, but also ignorant. I would pay 3.2 million to eradicate all gang members.

    1. Christina39 says:

      Really I am lying about the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department not showing up in 1998 to Emile Zola St. in Lancaster, CA Really after repeated calls by two elderly parents because a gang member was running around their yard with a gun while the sheriffs sat over at one of their wives’ house. You want to make a deal out of it, because I am willing to.

    2. Christina39 says:

      Can on you sniveling coward, let’s open the can of worms. I have been posting and waitng a long long time.

    3. Christina39 says:

      Come on you bal$less freak. Afraid to reopen the case. Or are you running to the wife’s house.

    4. Christina39 says:

      LOL this is deja vu. What a laugh. Run Run Run Run Run. You might get hurt if someone really has a gun.

  20. Truth hurts says:

    You again are not using logic. Go to the FBI’s uniform crime report (statistical compilation of crimes ). Try to understand that we need law enforcement . Your citing one incident that seems to justify your calling all police officers pigs is infantile. I think you need to educate yourself. Your insults on here indicates that dealing with you is pointless. It’s like reasoning with a baby that has not yet developed critical thinking skills. Enjoy your day and try not to do anything that would require police services.

    1. Steven Cooper says:

      I agree. Do any of you Police Bashers have a job that will get you shot for trying to give a traffic ticket. What about a job where trying to arrest a drugged up gang member who is ressisting arrest. You anti-Police people think you can go out on the streets and tell the crook nicely that he is under arrest, please get in the car and put on these hand-cuffs. IT AIN’T THAT SIMPLE, IDIOTS.

  21. Doug says:

    The main crime here is what the jury did against the police.

  22. Bill Terrence says:

    There are good and bad cops, mostly good. ( Frankly, I’m not really pro cop, however, we do need and must have them ). However, there are no good gang members. Their ( gang members) sole purpose in life is to destroy, damage, commit violence acts, foster unsafe neighborhoods, break laws, etc. They are, to put it more succinctly, terrorists. I’ve always said that there should be a law passed that says anyone that joins or is a member of a street gang, loses all rights of a U.S. citizens. Those rights include voting, constitutional, protection, etc., and forbid the A.C.L.U.’s intervention to assist them. Why give them rights when all they do is try to tear down and destroy this great country. The cops went too far in trying to subdue the guy, and the jury was wrong in awarding that amount of money to the guy’s family.

    1. Christina39 says:

      You sound like a sane person. Today it is the worthles gang member, but you know tomorrow, it is some sick person whose looks they don’t like. Lke the Kelly Thomas case and so many others. They use throw away guns. They lie for each other. Many sociopaths join the force to kill. . I don’t think they weed them out any more like they used to and anyway the reason for these ridiculously high settlements is to act as a deterrent.

  23. Bill Terrence says:

    There are good and bad cops, mostly good. ( Frankly, I’m not really pro cop, however, we do need and must have them ). However, there are no good gang members. Their ( gang members) sole purpose in life is to destroy, damage, commit violence acts, foster unsafe neighborhoods, break laws, etc. They are, to put it more succinctly, terrorists. I’ve always said that there should be a law passed that says anyone that joins or is a member of a street gang, loses all rights of a U.S. citizen. Those rights include voting, constitutional, protection, etc., and forbid the A.C.L.U.’s intervention to assist them. Why give them rights when all they do is try to tear down and destroy this great country. The cops went too far in trying to subdue the guy, and the jury was wrong in awarding that amount of money to the guy’s family.

  24. Wetters says:

    Could have paid three workers 40 thousand for the next 25 years. But instead the family stole 3 plus million from taxpayers. The family is back in Mexico celebrating. They got loser family member out of the way and received free money.

    1. Christina39 says:

      Oh look at the bright side the sociopathic pigs got away with murder AGAIN! These pigs are getting good at this. And if you find me a little harsh, at work today people unrelated to me where discussing the worsening murderious behaviror of the joke that we call law enforcement.

  25. cez says:

    all you gangster lovers next time you or a family member needs help call a gangmember instead of police officer…look its real easy obey the law and you will have no problem

    1. Christina39 says:

      That statement is getting so old. It used to be, “If you need help, call a hippy, not a cop” and not it’s, “Call a gangmember not a cop”. You know what we all have been calling hippies and gangmembers now for a long time instead of cops because we need someone to respond. We are also afraid that if we call the police, they will start shooting people. I remember an incident once years ago in North Hollywood before gang members at North Hollywood Park on Magnolia Blvd. We all decided to handle it ourselves which we did successfully because we were afraid that the cops would shoot half the people there. So this is an old thing, not a new thing.

    2. Christina39 says:

      I wish you wouldn’t call me a gangster lover, because I am just a cop hater. And I have earned the right to be that.

  26. Eddie Bell says:

    The only way to gain a useful understanding of this juries verdict is to ask them.
    If Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is worth more than squat, then he must make a high priority effort to interview as many members of this jury as possible – whether they voted in favor of the plaintiff or not. If we need to compensate them to gain an in depth interview – then we need to do it.

    For all we know, the majority of the jurors may not have given much consideration to the testimony given by plaintiffs experts or defense experts.

    The jurors may simply have based their decision in favor of damages to plaintiff on one simple principle – and that principle is a reasonable one. In Fact, that principle is already a component of LAPD policy for their officers and their custodies.

    Basically, whether an officer is involved in a physical altercation or they make an arrest of a suspect who has been involved in a physical altercation – they are to be brought for a medical exam before continuuing with their shift or before being locked up for the night.

    If that wasn’t done, as is already spoecified in policy – then the LAPD supervising officer in the Cornejo arrest needs to be s-canned. Because he just cost the taxpayers $3.2 million.

  27. Christina39 says:

    All of the people posting do not represent the general public disdain for the police. I know only a handful of people who have not been abused in some manner by the police, the overwhelming majority being of course innocent of committing any crime. I remember once working in an office and we were chatting about winning the CA lottery and someone asked what they would do with the money first. I was secretly thinking, “I would pursue a law suit against the sheriffs”. While I was thinking that 3 people blurted out “Sue the cops”. No, they can’t get a fair trial. But I would not sit on a jury in a case against them. I would be upfront and answer that I had been a victim of police abuse.

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