Federal and state lawsuits were filed against the city of Los Angeles Tuesday by the mother of a homeless man who was fatally shot by a police officer in Venice — a shooting that prompted Chief Charlie Beck to recommend criminal charges against the officer.
Sheryn Camprone, mother of Brendon Glenn, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Glenn’s 3-year-old son, Avery, and as administrator of Glenn’s estate. She also filed a U.S. District Court lawsuit on federal grounds such as unreasonable use of deadly force, unreasonable search and seizure and interference with a parent-child relationship.
The lawsuits name the city and Beck as defendants, along with Officer Clifford Proctor, who fired the fatal shots, and his partner, Officer Jonathan Kawahara.
A spokeswoman for the LAPD declined to comment, saying the department does not comment on pending litigation. Frank Mateljan of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office also declined to comment.
Glenn, 29, was shot May 5, 2015, outside the Townhouse bar on Windward Avenue, just steps from the popular Venice Beach boardwalk.
Police initially said the officers responded to a call about a person harassing people on Windward. They spoke briefly to the suspect, who walked away toward the boardwalk, police said.
The officers returned to their car but then saw the suspect struggling with someone — apparently a bouncer at the Townhouse bar — on the sidewalk. The officers approached and a struggle ensued, ending with the shooting, police said.
Last month, however, Beck concluded that Proctor was not justified in opening fire, and recommended that District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office file criminal charges against him. Beck said a chief must defend his department when it is right, “but also be forthright when he sees something that he believes is wrong.”
Lacey has not yet made a decision regarding possible charges. Beck’s comments, however, have earned him the ire of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers. The union blasted the chief for publicly calling for criminal charges.
Camprone’s attorney, V. James DeSimone, filed a claim for damages against the city in September, and it was rejected, clearing the way for the lawsuits.
The lawsuits claims that Glenn was walking away from the Townhouse bar when Proctor and Kawahara approached him and tried to arrest him, “though he had committed no crime.”
“The officers then grabbed Mr. Glenn without justification,” according to the lawsuit. “Defendant Officer Proctor then shot Mr. Glenn at least two times in the back, killing him.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the officers never gave Glenn any verbal warnings or commands, and Proctor never warned that he was going to shoot.
“Chief Beck saw the video of Officer Proctor shooting Brendon Glenn and acknowledged that it showed no ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to explain the shooting,” DeSimone said. “After Chief Beck’s own investigation, he recommended criminal charges against Officer Proctor, saying it was an ‘obvious decision’ based on the evidence.”
The lawsuits seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
— Wire reports
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