Family of Man Killed by Police Files $10M Excessive Force Claim

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Families of victims killed in recent Long Beach police shootings were in court today as the city’s police department was slapped with a $10 million wrongful death suit on Thursday. Hetty Chang reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2014.

    The family of a La Mirada man who was shot and killed by Long Beach police officers last month announced in a press conference Thursday it is taking the city of Long Beach and the unnamed officers to court.

    The attorney representing the family of Jason Conoscenti has filed an excessive force claim of $10 million and had expected to file a federal civil rights lawsuit within 45 days.

    "What is it going to take to stop these shootings," asked attorney Dale Galipo, who was joined by family members of other victims of Long Beach officer involved shootings. " Who is going to police the police?"

    Man Killed by Police Did Not Appear to Be a Threat: Expert

    [LA] Man Killed by Police Did Not Appear to Be a Threat: Expert
    A use-of-force expert says a man who was fatally shot by police during a standoff Sunday did not appear to be a threat to officers. Gadi Schwartz reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at 11 on Monday, April 28, 2014.

    Conoscenti led Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies on a pursuit into Long Beach on April 27 after he allegedly assaulted a deputy in Compton, according to police.

    The end of the pursuit was caught on cellphone video, which shows Conoscenti emerging from a white SUV and running down the stairs leading to the beach near Ocean Boulevard and 14th Place before being shot and killed.

    Conoscenti's family believes the video proves he was not reaching for his waistband as Long Beach police claim he was doing just before the shots were fired.

    "He had his hands on the rail going down. He never put his hands in his pants or nothing,"said the victim's aunt, Nona Opsitnick, crying.

    Conoscenti's partner of 4 years, Jory Adamson, said he did not want to see the cellphone video.

    "There are parts of me that just want to hug him," said Adamson. "And there's another part of me that wants to say how dare you?"

    The Long Beach Police Department has been under public scrutiny recently after a reported 22 officer involved shootings in its department in 2013. The department is quick to point out however, the number includes accidental discharges and shootings involving animals.

    "We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Conoscenti family and the officers who were involved and their families" said Don Wood, a commander with the department.

    According to Wood, the department has also viewed the widely circulated cellphone video, but said it did not capture the entire picture of what happened.

    "That is only one perspective of the one angle that was captured," he explained. "There are others that have been obtained by investigators in this incident."

    Conoscenti failed to surrender and after officers observed him reaching for his waistband, an officer-involved shooting occurred, according to police.

    The Long Beach Police department recently formed a "use of force" advisory committee made up of community members.

    Officers are trained to use the amount of force necessary to "mitigate or neutralize a threat," according to police.

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