Court papers were filed Friday on behalf of the three children of a 24-year-old man shot to death by sheriff’s deputies in Willowbrook after allegedly using his vehicle as a weapon.
The plaintiffs in the still unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit are the three minors sons of the decedent, Ryan Twyman of Compton. The court papers were filed on their behalf by their guardians, naming Los Angeles County as the primary defendant.
Daimeon Leffall, a passenger in the car with Twyman, also is a plaintiff.
The court papers allege civil rights violations, battery and negligence. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.
The LASD issued a statement saying the department is “unable to provide comment at this time and have neither received a lawsuit involving the … incident nor are we aware of the nature of its content.”
According to the plaintiffs’ court papers, the deputies “violently” confronted Twyman even though he and Leffall were unarmed and not a threat to them. The deputies then opened fire, killing Twyman and injuring Leffall, according to the court papers.
The plaintiffs allege the deputies violated an LASD policy that forbids using deadly force against people in a vehicle.
The LASD said previously that two deputies who were searching for Twyman went to an apartment complex in the 13100 block of South San Pedro Street about 7:30 p.m. last June 6 and found him in the driver’s seat of a Kia Forte. Another man was in the passenger seat of the car, which was parked in the south parking lot of the complex, sheriff’s officials said.
Security video footage shows the deputies approaching the car with weapons drawn, and one of them opens the rear passenger side door in an attempt to talk with Twyman, who started car’s engine and put it in reverse.
The other deputy moved in and tried to open the driver’s side door, but the video shows the Kia moving in reverse, knocking the deputy on the passenger side of the car off balance.
Deputies then fired their weapons at Twyman in order to stop him from seriously injuring the deputy on the passenger side of the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s account.
The Kia continued in reverse in a looping turn as deputies fired in the direction of Twyman. One deputy then ran back to the patrol vehicle and retrieved a rifle from the trunk, according to the sheriff’s department.
The video showed both deputies firing additional shots in the direction of the car, which continued in reverse until it hit a metal post in the parking lot.
A total of 34 shots were fired, according to the sheriff’s department. Twyman was struck in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene.
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