A father severely disabled after being shot in the head by a Los Angeles police officer last year has filed a civil rights complaint against the officer and the city.
Walter DeLeon was not armed when he was shot by police while he was on an early evening walk to Griffith Park on June 19.
Police shot DeLeon four times after they said was acting aggressively, refusing to comply with their orders, and possibly was concealing a gun beneath a gray cloth during a confrontation, even though police later said he was not armed.
DeLeon lost an eye, is nearly blind in the other eye, spent two weeks in a coma, lost the ability to walk and has nightmares of being shot in the head, court documents said.
"God has given me the opportunity to voice what it is and how it is to go through this pain and suffering," DeLeon said reading from a statement in a video on youtube announcing the filing. "There are hundreds that did not make it ... So I am here for that purpose, to be heard and to bring change to the law enforcement departments as to how they go about enforcing the law."
The lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges civil rights violations and negligence.
The complaint said that DeLeon was walking on Los Feliz Boulevard, blocks from the entrance to Griffith Park, when Officer Cairo Palacios and his unidentified partner, stuck in traffic, began talking with DeLeon from their cruiser.
"Mr. DeLeon was a substantial distance from the officers and posed no threat and made no threats," the lawsuit said. "The conversation lasted mere seconds before Officer Palacios rushed out of the patrol car, drew his gun, and without warning or commands, immediately opened fire."
The lawsuit alleges that the officers "stood idly by" for a "significant period of time" "not knowing what to do" while DeLeon bled profusely unconscious and residents ran out of their homes to help.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents the officers, did not return a call.