The family of a Cameroon national who was fatally shot by Los Angeles police during a videotaped struggle on Skid Row will announce a lawsuit against the department Wednesday.
Charly Leundeu Keunang, 43, was killed March 1 when he struggled with one of a group of officers who approached him about a robbery call in the 500 block of South San Pedro Street. Police said Keunang tried to remove an officer’s gun from its holster during the scuffle, leading to the shooting.
A recently released autopsy found that Keunang was shot six times. It also found that he had methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana in his system.
Cell phone video of the struggle and shooting was posted online and viewed millions of times.
In April, Keunang’s sister, Line Marquise Foming, and parents filed a $20 million claim against the Los Angeles Police Department and the city. The claim is a precursor to the lawsuit. The family’s attorney, Dan Stormer, said the shooting was “almost like an execution.”
The officers “violated every known principal of interaction with people that you can imagine in a police manual,” Stormer said.
The shooting exacerbated tensions between police and community activists who have criticized officers’ interactions with the homeless and mentally disabled.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a deportation order for Keunang was issued in April 2013 “while he was incarcerated and serving a sentence in federal prison for armed robbery and firearms convictions.”
He was placed in custody of ICE in June 2013, and the agency tried to deport him, but immigration officials initially believed he was a French citizen. When French officials realized he was not one of their citizens, the deportation process was halted. Keunang was then found to be a Cameroon national, but officials in that country failed to respond to repeated efforts to have him deported, federal officials said.
Before he was killed, Keunang regularly reported to ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations office as required by his order of supervision, according to ICE.
He was also under the supervision of the U.S. Probation and Trial Services System, authorities said.
— City News Service