LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The family of a man fatally shot by a Long Beach police officer last month today announced plans to sue the officer and the department.
Thirty-nine-year-old John Del Real was killed in front of his house on East 17th Street September 26.
Family attorney Brian Claypool called the shooting death “personal in nature” when announcing his client’s intention to file suit during a press conference.
Police say a plainclothes officer was responding to complaints about drug dealing when he and Del Real got into a confrontation.
According to investigators, Del Real punched the officer, who did identify him as law enforcement, and when Del Real reached for his waistband the officer opened fire.
Del Real did not have a gun but investigators say he did have an aluminum baseball bat.
Claypool disputes the claims and is also calling on the District Attorney to prosecute the officer.
“This police officer went and shot Del Real again when he was on the ground and already shot once,” Claypool said.
The Long Beach Police Department released a statement saying it would not normally comment on an ongoing case, but called Claypool’s statements “grossly inaccurate”.