LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Friends and family held a vigil Saturday evening for a man shot to death last week by LA County Sheriff’s Deputies.
Family members said Terry Laffitte was shot for no reason. Deputies insist he fought them and brandished a weapon.
KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper attended the vigil and said Laffitte’s family wants justice and they insist the Sheriff’s department is involved in a cover-up.
After the vigil, the family marched to the police station.
The police have maintained that Laffitte, who stood about 6 feet and 300 pounds, was intoxicated and battling them.
The man’s daughter, Tyzhane Laffitte told Hopper, “They took my dad away. I don’t know why yet. Why did they take him away? I just want justice for my dad.”
Laffitte’s sister, Sandra Cotton, said her brother was on the ground and he told her he couldn’t breathe. Then she said officers shot him in the head.
According to a flyer the family put out, “The police choked him while face first on the ground, beat him on the back of the head with a flashlight and then in cold blood shot him twice. Of the 12 people at the house at the time, most were women and children under 25 years old. Five were under 6 years old. The police pointed a gun at the face of Terry’s pregnant sister, Sandra Cotton, who was video-taping the incident, and kicked her in the stomach. The police also beat Terry’s nephew who was in the backyard at the time.”
Officials last week discounted that version of events and denied confiscating any cell phones or video. Hopper called the Sheriff’s Department for comment this evening and they did not return her calls.
Hoku Jeffrey, Southern California Coordinator for the community civil rights group BAMN (Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary), said, “A badge is not a license to kill.”