LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department are being sued for shooting a mentally ill 18-year-old woman after her mother called authorities to request mental health professionals to help her daughter, attorneys said.
The civil complaint was expected to be filed on Tuesday on behalf of Kamisha Davidson, a Baldwin Hills woman who had been suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder since childhood before the shooting on Nov. 19, 2011, at the apartment complex on Santa Rosalia Drive where Davidson lived with her family, according to Davidson’s attorneys.
According to lawyers, on that date Davidson’s mother found her daughter “highly agitated and fearful” and “in the full grip of a mental episode” when she locked herself in her room and refused to come out.
Fearing that her daughter might harm herself, Davidson’s mother called the Department of Mental Health and requested mental health professionals to come help get her daughter out of her room, according to attorneys.
When the Los Angeles Police Department arrived first on the scene, the officers themselves went in and confronted Davidson at her bedroom door, even allegedly refusing paramedics’ offer to bring Davidson out of the apartment and take her to a hospital, attorneys said.
As officers attempted to handcuff Davidson, she became “alarmed and frightened” and struggled with the officers until one of them drew their sidearm and shot Davidson in the stomach, according to attorneys.
Following the shooting, police said Davidson bit one of the officers and was poised to attack with a metal strip from the wall. They also claimed the officers felt threatened in the situation and were forced to shoot.
The officer who shot Davidson claims she grabbed at his groin, attorneys said.
“The police response to the mentally ill has been horrible,” said attorney Randy H. McMurray. “The lack of seeking help from mental health professionals has resulted in deaths and serious injuries especially where those persons killed and maimed are people of color.”
Davidson was shot once in the stomach and was transported to UCLA Medical Center for treatment. She eventually recovered from the shooting.
After being hospitalized for the bullet wound, Davidson was incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail without trial for one year among the general prison population, on charges assaulting the officers who advanced on her, according to attorneys.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will pursue charges against Davidson, who is now living again under the care of her mother, according to attorneys.