EAST GARDENA (CBSLA) — Dozens of demonstrators gathered Friday evening outside of an East Gardena auto body shop where an 18-year-old was shot and killed by deputies 24 hours prior.
The protest, organized by Union del Barrio and other social justice organizations, sought justice for Andres Gaurdado who was working as a security guard when he was shot and killed Thursday evening by deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Shortly after 6 p.m., demonstrators took to the street in the 400 block of Redondo Beach Boulevard.
Earlier in the day, family members held a news conference in front of the shop saying that Guardado was working two jobs and was trying to go to school to become a registered nurse.
“He was a good man,” Jennifer Guardado, the teen’s sister, said. “He was gonna make it in life. He was gonna make it and become a good, professional man in life, but they took that away from my family and me.
“My parents are completely destroyed. We’re all dead already inside.”
The sheriff’s department said Friday that Guardado was not recognized as licensed security officer by the state of California. The also said he was not wearing any identifiable clothing or a uniform indicating he was working in the capacity of a security guard.
The department also said a firearm devoid and any identifying marks or serial numbers was recovered at the scene and contained a large-capacity prohibited magazine.
But family members said they did not believe Guardado was armed.
“I’d never heard or seen him have any kind of weapons,” Celina Avarca, Guardado’s cousin, said. “He never talked about them.”
His sister went to far as to allege that he was framed.
“It is not his gun,” Guardado’s sister said. “Y’all framed him. Someone else did or y’all did.”
A Friday night statement from the Los Angeles Community College District said it was “shocked and saddened” to hear of Guardado’s death.
“LACCD strongly supports the call by Mr. Guardado’s family for a full and independent investigation into the circumstances of the killing. His death comes at a time of national outcry for social justice and significant police reform regarding the use of deadly force by law enforcement and for greater emphasis on de-escalation techniques and community policing. We must never be desensitized to, or normalized by, the alarming number of deaths by law enforcement of black and brown men and women in this country – it cannot be tolerated and the time for police reform is now.”
Guardado was a student at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, according to the statement.
LACCD, which contracts with LASD for law enforcement services, said it was reviewing the district’s expectations surrounding community policing practices.
Protesters said they were planning another demonstration Sunday.