LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Attorneys for the daughter of a 38-year-old man who was shot and killed by a Los Angeles police officer in April filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday, alleging there was no legal justification for the fatal shooting.
The suit filed on behalf of Melanie Hernandez and the girl’s guardian against the city and the officer involved, Toni McBride, alleges that McBride fatally shot Daniel Hernandez after coming upon a car accident involving the man on April 22 at 5:37 p.m. at the intersection of San Pedro and East 32nd streets.
According to the complaint, some of those involved in the collision were injured and in critical condition, and multiple civilian bystanders asked police to call for emergency medical help.
The suit alleges that rather than rendering immediate aid to the accident victims, McBride and her fellow officers “were standing near their patrol cars at a distance from the collision.”
The suit alleges that Hernandez, who had been injured in the accident, “exited his vehicle demonstrating shock, trauma and panic.” The suit said Hernandez then walked a few steps from his vehicle “in an unsteady gait, posing no threat to anyone,” when McBride discharged two rounds.
The man, who was shirtless at the time, dropped to the ground and, the suit alleges, McBride “discharged four more rounds into Hernandez’s body as he lay on the pavement.” The complaint said that a knife was recovered at the scene.
Each of McBride’s rounds “lacked justification and recklessly endangered multiple bystanders,” the lawsuit alleges.
Plaintiffs also allege that following the shooting, which was filmed by bystanders and posted to Facebook, officers “immediately began to concoct a plausible, but false scenario conspiring to cover up McBride’s wrongful misconduct by asserting Hernandez posed a threat to the police and/or public because a knife was recovered from the scene.”
According to the lawsuit, the allegedly fabricated scenario “was designed to give the false and fraudulent appearance of justification for the use of deadly force when McBridge and [fellow officers] knew none existed.”
An LAPD spokesperson said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)