Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Man Dies Following Police Scuffle

Relatives of a 25-year-old man who died after being arrested in a confrontation with Los Angeles police that involved a Taser and bean-bag rounds filed a wrongful-death claim against the city Monday.

Jose Chavez died May 6, about three hours after the confrontation with nearly a dozen Los Angeles police officers outside a home in the 4400 block of Towne Avenue in South Los Angeles, where police had responded to a report of a prowler.

Police said at the time that Chavez appeared agitated, so officers did not immediately approach him, but they eventually moved in and fired bean-bag rounds and a Taser at him. He was handcuffed, and officers called for an ambulance, which took him to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, where he died.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the following day that Chavez was "under the influence of narcotics."

At a news conference Monday at the office of attorney Luis Carrillo, relatives said Chavez suffered from asthma and didn't have his inhaler with him.

"He didn't deserve to die this way,'' his sister, Isabel, said. "We just want justice for him.''

Carrillo said officers should have done more to de-escalate the confrontation.

"If these police officers had used a different tactic, de-escalating tactic, or called the MEU, the Mental Evaluation Unit, if they had diffused the situation we would not be here today,'' he said.

There was no immediate comment from the LAPD.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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