The family of Abdul Arian, the 19-year-old shot by L.A. cops last week live on television, say they're filing a $120 million claim against the city and the LAPD for his alleged wrongful death.
News of the probable lawsuit came as relatives staged a protest yesterday against the department outside of its Devonshire Division station in Northridge.
Family members have contended that ...
... not only did the 19-year-old not have a gun when officers unleashed a reported 90 rounds on him as news choppers buzzed overhead, but that he didn't even like guns.
Officers later confirmed he did not have a weapon.
We reported, however, that a Facebook page updated he posted earlier this month stated:
Just came back from the shooting range. and got some blood on my hand thanks to my lil cousin lol
Cops say he told 911 operators that night, as he led officers on a crazy chase through the San Fernando Valley, that he had a gun. The LAPD released a partial transcript of his words with emergency dispatchers:
"I have a gun."
"I've been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of the cops."
"If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them."
The family wants to hear the recording.
The L.A. police union has come to the side of the cops who opened fire, with Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) president Tyler Izen saying in a statement sent to the Weekly and other outlets:
It is unfortunate that our society has come to the place where a lawful command from an officer goes ignored. Oftentimes, this sets into motion a regrettable series of events, as in this case. When a person decides to engage officers in a pursuit, refuses police orders to end the threat they are posing to the safety of officers and the public, tells the police that they have a gun, exits a vehicle and takes an aggressive shooting stance, extends their arms out and points an unknown object at the officers, they are subjecting themselves to the consequences of their actions, which may include being shot.
While our hearts go out to the Arian family over their loss, it is critical for the public to know that while being pursued by LAPD officers, Mr Arian called 911 and engaged in a lengthy conversation with the 911 operator. Among the statements he made were, 'I have a gun,' 'I've been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of the cops,' and 'If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them.
Indeed it appeared to many of us watching that Arian ran from his car (strangely, a former police cruiser), turned toward officers more than once, and assumed a shooting stance, arms extended.
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Family members have said he could have been subdued with less-than-lethal weapons such as a taser.
Family attorney Jeffrey M. Galen said 120 rounds, 15 shots per officer, were squeezed at Arian.
This equates to one million dollars per bullet in compensation for the grieving family. It is the hope of Mr. Galen that this action will result in the reform of officer training and cultural diversity.