Lawsuit Filed in Death of Man After Struggle With LAPD - NBC Southern California

Lawsuit Filed in Death of Man After Struggle With LAPD

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    Lawsuit Filed in Death of Man After Struggle With LAPD
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    The mother of an unarmed man who died hours after a struggle with Los Angeles police officers has filed a $25 million federal wrongful death lawsuit.

    Lilia Ábrego Figueroa, the mother of Omar Abrego, and her attorney, Shanta Driver, announced the lawsuit on on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on Monday.

    The lawsuit names LAPD sergeants Jeff Mares and Robert Calderon, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the department.

    "The two officers who killed Omar Abrego — Sergeants Jeff Mares and Robert Calderon — must be jailed immediately," said Driver. "These two murderers and those that enabled them and those that turn a blind eye to the epidemic of police brutality in Los Angeles must be held accountable."

    LAPD officials do not comment on pending litigation.

    Abrego, 37, was got into a struggle with Los Angeles police in front of his home near 69th and Main streets last August. He died 12 hours after struggling with a pair of anti-gang officers from the "effects of cocaine," but he also suffered "physical and emotional duress" from his arrest, according to an autopsy released last week.

    The confrontation happened after the officers were flagged down by a bystander who told them about the driver of a white vehicle, which they later spotted being driven recklessly and nearly hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk, police said.

    After the vehicle stopped, Abrego got out and tried to flee, but was taken into custody during "a physical altercation," according to the LAPD.

    One of the officers suffered a broken hand and the other a knee injury. They were treated at a hospital and released, police said.

    Abrego died at a hospital.

    The autopsy report notes that Abrego's strange behavior the night of his arrest was due to "cocaine intoxication."

    "However, there is a temporal relationship between the arrest maneuver and death which complicated the acute cocaine intoxication, therefore the manner of death is deemed homicide," according to the report.

    The autopsy was released after LAPD Chief Charlie Beck asked that the security hold be removed on the report.

    His death has been cited by some activists as an example of excessive force by police.

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