Four years ago, Mely Corado was caught in the crosshairs when LAPD opened fire on Gene Atkins, a pursuit suspect who ran into the Silver Lake Trader Joe's store where Corado worked as a manager.
"Every Sunday I go to the cemetery. My life changed for the worse," Albert Corado, the victim’s father, said.
Albert says after his daughter died four years ago, he’s carried guilt every day since.
“I feel guilty celebrating my birthday, I feel guilty celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, all the things we used to celebrate as a family, I don’t do that anymore," he said.
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Albert can't understand why it happened.
"They’re trained for that stuff. But they just keep shooting," he said.
John Taylor represents the family in their on-going civil lawsuit against the LAPD.
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"Mely Corado was an innocent bystander. And the police officers who chased after Gene Atkins got out of their car and started shooting their guns into the open storefront," Taylor said.
Atkins is facing multiple charges, including the murder of Mely Corado even though the investigation proved it was an LAPD bullet that killed her.
"We knew they were going to try to deny responsibility and find a way to get out of it," Albert Corado Jr., the victim’s brother, said.
Mely’s brother says losing his sister turned him into an activist with an agenda to abolish the LAPD. He recently ran for LA City Council on that platform but didn’t garnish enough votes beyond the June primary.
"The lawsuit that we filed against LAPD wasn’t the only way to fight them. I’ve gone and protested outside the mayor’s house and city council’s house and social media and really come after the LAPD,” he said.
The lawsuit seeks transparency and forced training for LAPD officers. For Mely’s family, they see true justice as fleeting.
"Whatever the outcome of the trial is, the bottom line is Mely is gone," her father said.