LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The family of an East Los Angeles man shot in the head by Los Angeles police is speaking out and calling for justice.
“I cannot put into words,” said Walter William DeLeon’s sister, Yovanna DeLeon. She could barely talk about her brother as she sat next to her sobbing mother in their apartment on Friday night.READ MORE: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Motor Deputy Killed In Lakewood Crash
DeLeon, a father of two, remains in critical condition after last Friday’s shooting in Los Feliz by LAPD officer Cairo Palacios, a nine-year law enforcement veteran with the LAPD since 2013.
DeLeon’s family says he was out on a walk.
“There was a legitimate reason. There was a legitimate reason for him to be flagging down those officers,” she said.
According to the LAPD and backed by witness statements given to police, Palacios and his eight-year veteran partner were in their patrol car and saw DeLeon walking toward them.
Police said DeLeon’s arms were extended with his hands covered by a gray cloth.
The officers believed he had a gun, but DeLeon was unarmed, police have said.'It's A Potato': Hasbro Drops 'Mr.' From 70-Year-Old Potato Head Doll
“It seems sometimes a suicide-by-cop question that comes up,” Lt. John Jenal of the LAPD said. “Why would someone approach officers in an aggressive manner that might result in a confrontation or use of force?”
“It’s not true. He is the backbone of this family,” said a relative.
Cellphone video captured the aftermath of the shooting. In a clip, officers can be seen turning over DeLeon’s limp body in order to handcuff him in accordance with protocol.
There was no in-car video, and neither officer was wearing a body camera.
“Without the proper training, police officers aren’t able to recognize threats and what they perceive to be threats,” Ben Meiselas, the family’s attorney, said.
On Friday, the family passed out fliers hoping to find more witnesses and get the answers they need.
They, along with friends, are planning to gather for a Walk for Walt at 5 p.m. Saturday in Los Feliz.MORE NEWS: NBA Star Russell Westbrook To Open New Charter School In South LA
No charges have been filed in the case, but investigations are underway.