A man is suing the city of Los Angeles after he allegedly was wrongfully shot in one leg with a projectile by LAPD officers while protesting the displacement of homeless people at Echo Park Lake for repairs in 2021.
Ethan Bochicchio’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges violation of his civil rights, battery, false imprisonment and negligence. He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit brought Tuesday.
A representative for the City Attorney’s Office could not be immediately reached.
Bochicchio was at Echo Park Lake between 9:45 and 10:15 p.m. last March 24 “exercising his right to peacefully protest against the removal of displaced and unhoused people,” the suit states.
Bochicchio was unarmed and posed no threat to officers who formed a skirmish line, the suit states. He was standing near the front of the protesters when “suddenly, and without warning, the … police officers began assaulting and battering a female protester who Mr. Bochicchio met earlier that evening,” according to the complaint.
When Bochicchio tried to stand next to the female protestor, the police officers shoved him with a baton and pushed him face-down to the ground, the suit states. An officer then shot him in one leg with a projectile, the suit states.
Bochicchio “writhed in pain” as others tried to help him leave, but the blockade formed by the officers prevented him from doing so, according to the suit.
After the blockade ended, people helped Bochicchio to his car and he was able to leave, the suit states. .
“The police officers who fired at Mr. Bochicchio had absolutely no reason to believe that (he) was armed, dangerous or creating a serious threat to anyone’s safety so as to justify any use of force, let alone less-than-lethal force,” the suit alleges.
Bochicchio alleges the LAPD failed to properly train the officers on when non-lethal projectiles can be used against protesters. Bochicchio obtained care from medical doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists and has incurred medical bills and expenses, the suit states.