LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The family of a developmentally disabled man who was fatally shot by an off-duty officer inside a Corona Costco has announced the filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit.
The French family, joined by their attorney Dale Galipo, held a press conference Wednesday at the United States Court House in Downtown Los Angeles to announce the suit.
On the night of June 14, 32-year-old Kenneth French of Riverside and his parents, Russell and Paola, were shot by off-duty LAPD Officer Salvador Sanchez while in line at a sample station at a Costco in Corona.
Following the shooting, Russell and Paola required weeks of hospitalization and required ongoing medical care for their injuries, a spokesperson for the family said.
“Could you guys imagine anyone else going into a Costco with a fully loaded gun, firing ten rounds into an open crowd, striking three unarmed people, killing one, shooting two of them in the back, and then be held not accountable?” said Kenneth’s brother Kevin French at the afternoon press conference.
The French family is now suing the officer and the city of Los Angeles. The suit seeks “unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for violations of law” in connection with the shooting.
“This is not all about money for the family,” Galipo said. “This is about accountability, this is about closure, this is about getting justice.”
In late August, the family filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department. However, a Riverside County criminal grand jury found that the evidence did not warrant criminal prosecution.
Despite the grand jury’s findings, the District Attorney had the option to file criminal charges against Sanchez but elected not to do so. The French family is now seeking justice and accountability through the new lawsuit.
“I will continue to fight for justice for my clients who were very disappointed that there was no criminal prosecution in this matter,” said Galipo. “I feel confident that we will prevail and finally get justice through this civil lawsuit. This shooting is clearly unjustified and excessive on its face and there needs to be accountability. My clients and I do not want to see this happen to someone else’s family.”