LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Rep. Maxine Waters said Tuesday she would formally request that the Office of the U.S. Attorney General investigate the shooting death of Andres Guardado by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy as a civil rights violation.
The call comes after the deputies involved in the shooting, and subsequent investigation of the shooting, refused to testify in the coroner’s inquest into the 18-year-old’s death.
“It is this type of obfuscation by the LASD that has fueled decades-long outrage and resentment among the communities who find themselves victims of police violence time and time again,” Waters said in a statement. “LASD has a known history of serious abuses and allegations of misconduct that include racist gangs, the targeting of people of color, and shootings of civilians.
“On June 18th, Andres Guardado, who was just 18 years old, became a victim of unacceptable police violence after sustaining five gunshot wounds to his back at the hands of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies,” the statement continued. “Let me be clear that from the very beginning of this case, there has been a complete lack of transparency and information from the Sheriff’s department, which also put a ‘security hold’ on Andres’ autopsy report in an effort to prevent it from being made public.”
Waters said the refusal to answer questions was a “coordinated effort designed to protect the sheriff’s office and make it more difficult for the truth to come out about what really happened.”
Guardado was fatally shot June 18 near a Gardena auto body shop while running away from two deputies. The department has alleged the teen was reaching for a gun, a characterization denied by the teen’s family.
“Andres’ family deserves justice,” Waters said. “They deserve answers and they deserve transparency and accountability. I will not rest until all the facts about what led up to the killing of Andres Guardado are fully disclosed.”