City News Service

Dozens Protest Deputy-Involved Shooting That Left Man Dead in Long Beach

Noel Aguilar was killed in Long Beach on May 26, 2014

Dozens of protesters decrying the fatal deputy-involved shooting of a 23-year-old man in 2014 rallied in Long Beach Saturday, blocking the Metro Blue Line tracks before marching to the sheriff's Compton Station, where two were arrested for allegedly throwing rocks and bottles.

About 3 p.m., some of the protesters blocked the train tracks in the area of Compton Avenue and Willowbrook Avenue.

The action on behalf of slain suspect Noel Aguilar caused Metro to suspend Blue Line service between Compton and Artesia and buses were requested to shuttle passengers, but service was restored by about 3:45 p.m., though with some lingering delays, according to Metro.

A crowd estimate was not immediately available, Long Beach police Sgt. Megal Zabel said, but about 400 people had announced they would attend the rally.

No arrests were made before the group made its way into Compton, she said.

Two of the protesters, who numbered 70 to 100 by late afternoon, were arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks and bottles in the direction of sheriff's personnel outside the Compton Station, but the rest exercised their First Amendment rights peacefully, if noisily, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Sheriff's Headquarters bureau said.

Aguilar was killed in Long Beach about 9:45 a.m. on May 26, 2014 by Compton Station sheriff's deputies.

Cellphone video of the shooting, which emerged last month, shows two deputies struggling on the ground with Aguilar when a shot rings out and one of the deputies can be heard shouting that he has been wounded. Moments later, what sounds like another shot is heard and then the wounded deputy fires three shots at Aguilar.

The young man, who had been on a bicycle and fled from the deputies when they tried to stop him in the area of 69th Way and Long Beach Boulevard, died at the scene.

It's unclear who fired the shot that struck the deputy, but sheriff's officials allege Aguilar had tried to grab one of the deputies' guns.

The video was released by attorneys for the man's family, who have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the sheriff's department and the two deputies, identified as Albert Murad and Jose Ruiz.

The wounded deputy underwent surgery and has recovered. Both are back on field duty.

The shooting was the subject of an investigation by the Sheriff's Internal Affairs Bureau, which was to turn over its findings to a force review panel that will determine if the shooting was within department policy.

Saturday's protest, which began about 1 p.m. at Eddie's Liquors at 299 E. Artesia Boulevard, was organized by activists from the groups "We Charge Genocide L.A." and the "Peoples Power Assemblies."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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