LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The family of a 36-year-old unarmed man who was shot to death by LA County Sheriff’s Deputies filed suit Friday for $15 million.
Jose De La Trinidad, a father of two, was shot seven times on November 10, 2012 — including five times in the back.
De La Trinidad was shot in the 1900 block of Wast 122nd Street in Willobrook following his niece’s quinceanera.
Deputies said they opened fire because they believed De La Trinidad was making a move toward his waistband, possibly reaching for a weapon. He had been a passenger in his brother’s vehicle and he was shot after exiting the car.
The family’s lawsuit, however, maintains that De La Trinidad was complying with deputies and had his hands above his head when they shot him.
According to the Coroner’s report, the deputies — identified in the lawsuit as Angel Grandes and Alexandro Gonzalez — believed they had seen the driver of the vehicle pass a gun to De La Trinidad.
The deputies also claimed that De La Trinidad started to run toward them, causing them to fear for their safety.
Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Los Angeles Times the department’s investigation into the shooting was expected to be completed by as early as next week and turned over to the District Attorney’s Office.