Los Angeles City has decided to give 1.5 million dollars of taxpayers money to the mother of the 13 year old gangster killed by Police a year and half ago. The FBI, and the District Attorneys office found that the officer had not been negligent in the shooting but the City Council to hell with that, lets give them some money:
LOS ANGELES, June 8, 2006 – The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to a $1.5 million settlement in a wrongful death stemming from the officer-involved shooting of a 13-year-old boy who led police on a pursuit in a stolen car.
The council voted 12-2 to award the settlement to Devin Brown's mother, Evelyn Brown.
Councilmen Dennis Zine and Greig Smith voted against the settlement, saying that a ruling by the Los Angeles Police Commission earlier this year hurt the city's chances in fighting the lawsuit.
"I think the Police Commission's findings put us in a vulnerable position and I was appalled by their decision," Smith said.
The Police Commission, in a 4-1 vote on Jan. 31, found that Officer Steven Garcia had violated department rules and should face discipline for the Febuary shooting.
"My fellow commissioners and I each came to a conclusion based on the facts that were presented to us about this very tragic incident," Police Commission President John Mack said. "It was not an easy decision for any of us."
Police Commissioner Alan Skobin, who cast the dissenting vote, said he agreed with investigations by the FBI, District Attorney's Office and LAPD Chief William Bratton, which found no wrongdoing on Garcia's part.
The District Attorney's office decided in January not to file criminal charges against Garcia.
A three-member Board of Rights, made up of two LAPD officials and a Civilian, will now determine whether Garcia engaged in "administrative misconduct" during the shooting and what discipline, if any, he will face.
"Not to show disrespect to the Police Commission, but they do not have the insight of trained investigators and the police department," said Zine, an LAPD veteran who is now a reserve officer.
"We have noble civilians who sit on the Police Commission, but I do not agree their position was appropriate because it sent out the wrong message," the councilman said.
According to the LAPD, the boy was spotted driving through South Los Angeles in a stolen red 1990 Toyota Camry in the predawn hours.
Officers suspected the driver was drunk and could not clearly see inside the vehicle, so were unaware the motorist was a 13-year-old boy, according to the department.
The teen was backing the car into a police cruiser at the intersection of 83rd Street and Waster Avenue when Garcia fired ten shots into the vehicle shortly before 4 a.m., hitting Brown seven times, according to police accounts.
An autopsy later showed that marijuana was in the teen's bloodstream at the time of the shooting.
Autopsy results and an elaborate reconstruction of the shooting scene revealed that the boy was shot on the right side of his body, conflicting with Garcia's account that the teen was driving the car straight at him.
Investigators estimated that the youth was driving 10 to 12 mph when he scraped the passenger side of Garcia's cruiser, and 2 mph or less when Garcia opened fire.
The teen's mother contends that Garcia was never in danger and alleged negligence on the part of the city in the hiring, training and supervision of the police officer.
But Zine called Evelyn Brown a "negligent parent" who should have been monitoring her son's behavior.
"The circumstances of the case do not demonstrate to me that we should pay the family any amount of money, whether it's $1 or $1.5 million," Zine said.
"I think it's a sad state of affairs when a negligent parent receives $1.5 million when she didn't do her part in protecting her child and making sure he was at home and asleep," he said. "If she did her job, a tragedy could have been avoided."
This is what the DA had to say about the case in December:
“We concluded that Officer Garcia was faced with an imminent deadly force and he responded to that force by firing his weapon and defending himself,” Gullon said.
Investigators used both physical evidence and the statements of a civilian witness to piece together their belief Garcia had such little time to react, Gullon said.
“You could say it happened in the blink of an eye,” Gullon said.
Garcia originally stood behind the passenger door of the patrol car for cover, Gullon said. But he had to move when the other car started in reverse, Gullon said.
“As the car came at him it forced him from his position of cover,” Gullon said. “He then backed away and began shooting. He fired 10 shots in rapid succession.”
The impact of the collision was so violent that it pushed the front passenger door onto the frame of the rear door and showered the patrol car and Garcia’s partner with glass, Gullon said.
Incredible. This lady who raised her child so well that he already had a criminal record at 13, was behind the wheel of a stolen car smoking weed, and assaulted an officer will now receive a reward.
Only in Kalifornia.