The Los Angeles City Council approved a $3.9 million payment Wednesday to the parents of a man who was shot to death by police in a hospital emergency room after officers said he lunged at them with a stool and tried to take one of their guns.
The City Council voted 12-1 to resolve the litigation brought by Graciela Herrera and Ruben Ordaz, who accused the Los Angeles Police Department of excessive use of force and negligence in the death of their son, who was shot and killed at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance on Dec. 19, 2015.
According to the LAPD, Ruben Herrera, 26, swung a metal stool at officers and tried to take an officer’s gun at the hospital at 1000 W. Carson St. around 2:30 p.m. that day, but the chain of events started hours earlier with a report of vandalism in a nearby neighborhood.
Officers had responded at 8 a.m. to the 1600 block of West 207th Street in Harbor Gateway. Neighbors called police because a man, later identified as Herrera, was throwing bottles at an apartment complex, according to the LAPD.
Herrera attacked the officers and had to be subdued with a Taser, which was ineffective, and a carotid restraint, police said.
Because he was injured during the arrest, Herrera was taken to the hospital. Officers who were not involved in the original arrest were removing Herrera’s handcuffs when the hospital confrontation occurred, ending in the fatal shooting.
The lawsuit claimed excessive force was used in the original arrest, and that during the shooting at the ER, Herrera did not pose an immediate threat to the officers.
Councilman Joe Buscaino, a former LAPD officer, cast the lone vote against the settlement. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request to comment.