Man Sues L.A. Cops Who Shot Him While He Held Cellphone

Man Sues L.A. Cops Who Shot Him While He Held Cellphone
File photo by LASD / Facebook

A month after he was shot by deputies in Mid-City, a man is suing the County of Los Angeles for unspecified general damages, punitive damages, medical bills and attorney's fees.

See also: Westside Cops Kill Homeless Man Holding a Stick.

The sheriff's department admitted in a statement that the suspect they chased Sept. 25 had only a cellphone in his hand:

The sheriff's department said they were at the location, in the 1700 block of Burnside Avenue, looking for a "felony suspect" that day. Deputies came across a man "who closely resembled the suspect," according to a statement.

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When cops tried to stop the man, he allegedly "reached into his waistband area and removed several objects, including narcotics, as well as a black object that he held in his hand," the sheriff's account reads.

One deputy opened fire.


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And then it happened again:

The man ran to the rear of the residence and climbed over a wall. As the deputies followed, the man took a kneeling position facing the deputies with a black object still in his hand. Fearing that the man was about to shoot, both deputies fired their duty weapons at him.

The suspect sustained non-life-threatening wounds and was hospitalized, deputies said. Sheriff's inmate data shows the man, identified in the suit as Ricky Allen, was arrested and booked two days later.

The 50-year-old was in jail with no bail via a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hold, ostensibly because he's on probation, according to inmate records.

The suit, filed over the weekend by attorneys with the high-power Cochran Firm, alleges that about 3:55 p.m. on Sept. 25 Allen was "engaged ... in a foot pursuit" and "violently confronted" by deputies who didn't have "probable cause" or "reasonable suspicion" to detain him.

The suit says he was shot in the back, arm and feet "without warning" and with Allen posing no "credible threat of violence"

The filing claims that deputies acted willfully, maliciously and recklessly and that Allen has suffered physical and mental anguish as a result. The suit says his constitutional right to unreasonable search and seizure was violated, too.

Man Sues L.A. Cops Who Shot Him While He Held Cellphone
File photo of deputies in action via the LASD's Facebook page.

The suit indicates Allen was not the guy deputies had come to see. We reached out to L.A. County Sheriff's Department senior spokesman Steve Whitmore for his take on it, but he wasn't familiar with the case.

He told us the standard deputy involved shooting investigations were underway, including inquiries by the District Attorney's office, the Office of Independent Review, and sheriff's homicide detectives:

We only use deadly force when we feel our lives are threatened or the safety of the public is threatened.

We reached out to a Cochran Firm attorney on the case but had yet to hear back.

Allen had a Nov. 1 court date scheduled.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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