Relatives of a man who was shot to death in a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies serving a warrant at his Compton home in 2020 filed court papers against Los Angeles County Thursday alleging civil rights violations and that he was targeted because he was Latino.

The still-unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought by two daughters and a nephew of the late 41-year-old Samuel Herrera Jr. stemming from the Sept. 10, 2020 shooting that occurred about 5:45 a.m. in the 500 block of South Bradfield Avenue.

“This lawsuit concerns the outrageous, careless and unlawful use of deadly force by county officers as well as their malicious effort to distort the true facts of their own misconduct,” the plaintiffs’ court papers state.

Sheriff’s deputies said detectives from the Operation Safe Streets Bureau were serving a search warrant when Herrera opened fire. They further said Herrera fled from a house into a detached garage and that and deputies began shooting after Herrera fired at them while from inside the garage.

When Herrera came out through a portion of the garage, he was shot again and pronounced dead at the scene and a weapon was recovered, deputies said.

But according to the court papers, the deputies began shooting at Herrera first and so he fled to the garage, where he encountered his nephew and the nephew’s girlfriend. The deputies opened fire again at Herrera and the two others as they left the garage and Herrera died later from his injuries, according to the plaintiffs’ court papers.

The deputies either negligently shot Herrera in the mistaken belief he was a threat to them, or they shot him by accident, according to the plaintiffs’ court papers, which further allege the deputies were not properly trained.

The plaintiffs further allege the deputies delayed in getting Herrera medical help and that his shooting was racially related. Herrera was Latino.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to instruct the county coroner to conduct inquests into the death of Herrera as well as two other 2020 fatal deputy shootings: 47-year-old Dana “Malik” Young Jr. and 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee.

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