Saturday, July 31, 2021

Deputy Involved Shooting in East Los Angeles

At LAT, "Sheriff expresses ‘grave concerns’ over fatal shooting by deputies captured on video":

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Friday evening released footage from body-worn cameras that shows several deputies shoot to death a man who was armed with a knife — an incident that Sheriff Alex Villanueva, in a rare criticism of his own deputies, said has given him “grave concerns.”

The Sheriff’s Department published the footage a day after family members of David Ordaz Jr. held a news conference outside the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles to announce they were suing Los Angeles County and the four deputies involved in Ordaz’s shooting. Their attorneys also released a video, recorded by a bystander, that shows the moment Ordaz, 34, was fatally shot.

Villanueva, in a statement issued Friday night, said one of the deputies had been relieved of duty and had his police powers suspended, pending an investigation by Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives. He didn’t specify which of the four deputies had been suspended, and the department didn’t immediately return a request for clarification.

The Sheriff’s Department said it will forward the investigation to the FBI for review.

The Sheriff’s Department released excerpts of body-worn camera footage on Friday, along with portions of the 911 call that brought deputies to Ordaz’s East Los Angeles home in the 100 block of North Rowan Avenue the afternoon of March 14.

“Yes, hello, um, I’m currently with someone who is telling me they’re suicidal,” a woman, who later identifies herself as Ordaz’s sister, is heard saying. “I was just wondering if you could guide me on what I can do to help them.”

She told a dispatcher they were sitting in Ordaz’s car, parked outside their family’s home. The dispatcher asked whether Ordaz had any weapons.

“Yeah,” Ordaz said, “I do.”

His sister said he was carrying a knife. The dispatcher asked whether it was a pocketknife...

“It’s a big-ass butcher knife,” Ordaz said. Asked whether he had a history of mental illness or disability, his sister said Ordaz hadn’t been diagnosed with any conditions but had been having suicidal thoughts “for a while.” “He’s also talked about suicide by cop, so I am afraid for that,” she added...

Still more.