The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Photo by John Schreiber.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved an $8.85 million payment to the family of a 29-year-old man killed by sheriff’s deputies who fired dozens of shots into his car as he backed up toward them following a pursuit.

In 2012, a jury awarded $8.756 million in the case brought by the family of Alfredo Montalvo. Tuesday’s decision reflects the county’s decision not to further appeal that decision.

The deputies were in an unmarked patrol car about 10:40 p.m. on April 6, 2009, when they spotted Montalvo’s car speed away from a convenience store in Lynwood without the headlights on and “drive over a curb and across four lanes of traffic,” according to a summary provided by the Sheriff’s Department.

Thinking he may have stolen something from the store, the deputies pursued the car, which ultimately crashed into a parked car.

They jumped out and stood to the rear of the car, ordering Montalvo to get out.

“(Montalvo) refused, appeared to reach under the front seat of his vehicle, and suddenly placed his vehicle in reverse and rammed the unmarked patrol vehicle parked behind it,” injuring three deputies and knocking one to the ground, the department’s summary stated.

Montalvo’s car lunged forward and then again “began to back into the patrol vehicle and fallen deputy sheriff,” according to the summary.

At that point, nine deputies opened fire.

The attorney representing Montalvo’s family, John C. Taylor, said at the time of the jury verdict that the deputies fired 61 shots in all, in what he called “contagious fire.”

The shooting was investigated by the sheriff’s Homicide and Internal Affairs bureaus, the District Attorney’s Office and the Executive Force Review Committee, which determined that the use of deadly force was “reasonable and necessary and within department policy.”

In 2015, the department republished a section of its policy reminding officers that “an assaultive motor vehicle shall not presumptively justify a department member’s use of deadly force.”

Montalvo, who worked as a forklift operator and in private security, left behind a 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

The bulk of the settlement payment, $7.4 million, will be paid by an insurance carrier. The county will pay $1.4 million directly.

The board approved the payment without comment.

— Wire reports 

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